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Single judge's order over Salim Raj’s phone records stayed

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Single judges order over Salim Raj’s phone records stayed
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Kochi: The High Court Wednesday stayed the interim order of a single judge directing police to take custody of telephone records, including voice records, of Salim Rajan, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The order in this regard was issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and justice A M Shafique on a an appeal by the state government challenging the legality of the interim order, passed two days ago.

Justice V K Mohan had on August 5 directed Inspector General of Police to seize the telephone records of Salim Rajan and that of his relatives while admitting two petitions filed by A K Shariffa of Kochi and Premchand R Nair of Thiruvananthapuram seeking CBI probe into the activities of Salim Rajan and some of his relatives involved in dubious land deals.

When the appeal came up, Advocate General K P Dandapani contended that the land transactions took place long back and and no criminal cases were pending against Salim Rajan and his relatives before any forum.

The bench orally observed that petitioner has not preferred any complainant before any police station against the phone calls or seizure of telephone records. Instead, Shariffa had directly preferred a complaint to the Director General of Police.

According to the petitioner, she submitted a complaint to DGP due to "illegal influences, money and manpower' by the Chief Minister's gunman and no action was taken.

In an unusual move, the government today approached the Kerala High Court challenging the order to seize the telephone records of Salim Rajan, who was suspended from service after it was found that he had made and received phone calls from Saritha S Nair, accused in the solar panel scam.

The allegation against Salim Rajan and his relatives was that they had tried to usurp about 1.16 acres of land at Kalamassery in Kochi belonging to Shariffa and 45.5 acres of land at Thiruvananthapuram belonging to Premchand R Nair.

The bench, however, declined to stay the order directing the seizure of revenue records relating to the alleged deals.

Salim Rajan was suspended from service when the solar panel scam broke out and media reports surfaced that he had made and received calls from the accused Saritha.

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