The AP Crime Investigation Department has refuted allegations aired in a section of media over the seizure of a mobile phone purportedly belonging to the Member of Parliament, Narsapuram, K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, an accused in Cr 12/2021 charged under various sections, and clarified that the mobile phone has been in the custody of the AP Forensic Science Laboratory since May 18, 2021 and the CID has no access to it.
The CID also has no means to find out what the actual phone number is since the final report of the APSFL is awaited.
The CID, in a press note, said that the ‘intervening propaganda’, by the accused was intended to overawe the investigative agency with false and frivolous complaints and circulate them in public domain. “As far as investigation is concerned, the cell phone along with the SIM is in the custody of FSL for detailed forensic analysis. From time to time, updates on forensic analysis are being informed to the jurisdictional court. The final report from FSL is being awaited and it is only then it will be possible to establish the SIM no. in the phone of Mr. Raju. It is submitted that all these developments shall be placed before the Supreme Court. The investigating agency is pursuing the investigation in accordance with law and all insinuations to the contrary are incorrect and false,’’ the release said.
There was a flutter on Sunday with a section of media airing stories based on a tweet by former IAS officer P.V. Ramesh that his family members got texts from a phone number, which was later identified as that of Mr. Raju.
Mr. Raju had also sent notices stating that the APCID had seized his mobile phone during investigation and demanded that his mobile phone should be given back.
The CID will now move the Supreme Court to cancel the bail of Mr. Raju and also investigate further on Mr. Ramesh’s tweets, tthe release said.
Seizure as per law
The MP was arrested from his residence in Hyderabad after instituting an FIR No. 12 / 21 u/s 124A, 153A, 505 r/w 120B IPC at CID PS on May 14. The CID said that the mobile phone was seized as per the procedure and a seizure memo was prepared in the presence of witnesses on May 15.
“The IO made the seizure invoking 102/165 Cr.P.C. which lay down the grounds for seizure by a police officer and the procedure to do the same. The cellphone was an important piece of evidence in the case since the said cellphone could contain evidence of the preparatory events to the commission of the crime and the role of the conspirators in the commission of the said crime,’’ said the release.
Further, Mr. Raju had admitted that the iPhone 11 Pro Max mobile phone carried Airtel SIM with the number 9000911111. At that point, there was no way in which the Investigation Officer could ascertain what the actual number was and simply recorded what was told to him by Mr. Raju. The mobile phone in a sealed cover was forwarded to AP FSL on May 18 for preliminary analysis, dump data, image and the final report of the FSL maintaining proper chain of custody. A dump of the phone was submitted to the CID Court on May 27 and processed dump data (Image) was submitted to the court on May 31.
“This being so, it appears from the media reports regarding the text of complaint made by the accused Mr. Raju to Delhi Police claiming CID seized his SIM with number 9000922222, completely contradicting his own statement made in the presence of independent witnesses while preparing the seizure memo on May 15,’’ said the release.