CDR case: SC stays Bombay HC order to initiate action against cops


Team Udayavani, Apr 9, 2018, 12:24 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed the Bombay High Court judgment ordering departmental action against Maharashtra policemen involved in a probe against a lawyer who was accused of illegally possessing call detail records (CDRs) of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar, however, issued a notice to lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui and asked him to file his reply in the matter within four weeks.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Nishant Katneshwar appeared for the state government and sought stay of the Bombay High Court order of March 21 in which it had held that in arresting Rizwan Siddiqui, the Thane Police had acted in a “highhanded” manner and had failed to follow “due process of law”.

Advocate C A Sundaram appeared for Rizwan Siddiqui. The High Court had directed the Thane Police to release from their custody advocate Rizwan Siddiqui, who was arrested on March 16 for allegedly having ordered the illegal procurement of the CDR of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife.

The HC had also directed the senior-most officials of the Thane Police and the state Home department to inquire into the actions of the Thane Police and if deemed fit, initiate appropriate punitive proceedings against the officials concerned.

Rizwan Siddiqui’s wife, Tasneem, had challenged the manner of his arrest and filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court. In the plea, she claimed that her husband Rizwan Siddiqui had received a witness summon from the Thane Crime Branch Unit one on February 14.

However, around 10 pm on March 16, Thane Crime Branch officials came to his office and while recording the statement, arrested him without giving him any notice under Section 41(A) of the CrPC to give him time to make an appearance before the police, the plea read.

It alleged that the Thane police kept him in wrongful and illegal custody. The state, however, told the high court that the Thane Crime Branch had attempted to serve the 41(A) notice on Rizwan Siddiqui. But because he refused to accept it, he was arrested, the prosecution said.

Section 41 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) sets guidelines for a prosecuting agency to arrest a person without a warrant. However, the court noted that while the notice was issued on March 15, asking Rizwan Siddiqui to appear before it on March 17 at 11 am, he was arrested before he could visit the police.

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