Inquiry into leak of Saritha’s call details

The State police are likely to investigate Inspector General (IG) of Police, Kerala State Police Cyber Cell, T.J. Jose on the charge of having sought “without jurisdiction or authority” the call details of Saritha S. Nair, one of the main suspects in the Team Solar financial fraud case.

Earlier, the State police had issued a memo to Mr. Jose asking him why he had sought the details when he was not even “remotely involved” with the investigation of the case.

In his explanation, Mr. Jose reportedly said that he had sought the information in connection with an online defamation case registered at the cyber police station on June 26, 2013.

However, the police found his explanation “unsatisfactory and suspicious” because Mr. Jose’s unit had sought the data from the cell phone service provider through an official e-mail communication much earlier on June 15, 2013 and later on June 19, 2013.

Mr. Jose subsequently claimed that he had destroyed the information on the ground that it was not relevant to the case.

The police have reported to the government that any material object or information collected as evidence in connection with a criminal inquiry had to be safeguarded till the case is disposed of. Hence, Mr. Jose’s act, if proved true, would tantamount to destruction of evidence.

Forensic analysis

The Intelligence wing had earlier reported to the government that “suspected political motive” had resulted in a pro-Opposition television channel getting possession of a copy of the preliminary forensic analysis of her call data record relevant to a case registered against her in the Thalassery police station. It also identified two policemen suspected to be responsible for the leak.

The channel revealed that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s personal staff member Tenny Joppan and gunman Salim Rajan had been in regular touch with Saritha. Joppan subsequently became an accused in the case.

This was followed by a series of news expose, which mainly relied on Saritha’s mobile billing information records analysed using “true caller,” a software which searches an online collaborative mobile phone directory to identify callers, by competing television news broadcasters.

Analysis

Soon, a television channel, widely perceived as pro-government, revealed “analysed call data information” showing that at least two ruling front Ministers, one Union Minister, one ruling front MP, and two MLAs, one belonging to the Opposition, had been in contact with Saritha. Curiously, the Ministers and legislators “thus exposed” were those identified with a particular group in the Congress party.

The “political motive” behind the leaks notwithstanding, the “revelations” ultimately proved embarrassing to the government, prompting it to order a police inquiry into the leak of the confidential information.


  • Leak of call data records to TV channels

  • His explanation ‘unsatisfactory and suspicious’


  • More In: KERALA | NATIONAL