Delhi HC: Acquiring Call Data Records and Police Officials Location Can Infringe Safety and Privacy

LI Network

Published on: 23 August 2023 at 17:45 IST

The Delhi High Court has underscored that procuring call detail records, encompassing the tower-specific locations of police officials, has the potential to compromise their safety and personal privacy.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma emphasized that the police officers in question might be involved in handling cases of varying nature, including sensitive, grave, or national security-related matters. Thus, orders akin to those challenged before the Court can directly impinge upon the privacy of these police officials.

The Court made these remarks while nullifying several orders issued by the trial court, which mandated investigating officers to obtain call data records and tower-wise whereabouts of all members of a raiding team in a NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) case.

“In the view of this Court, procuring call detail records of mobile phones used by police officials, coupled with the disclosure of their tower-wise locations, can jeopardize both their personal safety and privacy,” the Court affirmed.

Justice Sharma further expressed that the impugned orders carried the potential to jeopardize and unveil the identities of “confidential informants” within the case. The Court found these orders to be devoid of reasoning.

The Court further noted that these orders could “open up avenues” for the “risk of exposing confidential information,” which might inadvertently be recorded through the call detail records of investigating officers and other police personnel.

“Taking into account the collective facts and circumstances of the case, this Court is of the opinion that there exists no necessity to procure call detail records of investigating officers, members of the raiding team, or other relevant police officials, as mandated by the impugned orders,” the Court concluded while resolving the plea.

Case Title: STATE v. HARIPAL and other connected matters

Related Post