Geofencing & Call Data RecordsGeofencing & Call Data Records

Geofencing is a location-based technology that creates a virtual boundary or perimeter around a real-world geographic area. It allows authorities, including the police, to define specific geographic zones and receive alerts or gather data when a device enters or exits these zones. Geofencing is increasingly being used in police investigations to aid in crime prevention, solving cases, and overall law enforcement.

Here’s how its being used recently in Pakistan: 

1. Crime Scene Analysis and Suspect Tracking:

  • Geofencing can help law enforcement create digital perimeters around crime scenes. This helps track individuals’ movements and activities within a specific timeframe.
  • If a suspect’s mobile device enters or exits the geofenced area, investigators can receive real-time alerts, aiding in tracking the suspect’s movements and potential involvement in the crime.

2. Gathering Digital Evidence:

  • Geofencing data can be used to gather evidence related to criminal activities. For example, in cases of theft, assault, or kidnapping, investigators can determine whether a suspect’s or victim’s mobile device was within the vicinity at the time of the incident.

3. Establishing Alibis and Identifying Witnesses:

  • Geofencing data can help establish alibis for individuals who can prove they were not at a crime scene during a specific period.
  • It can also identify potential witnesses who were present in the geofenced area and might have information about the crime.

4. Investigating Patterns and Trends:

  • Law enforcement can use historical geofencing data to identify patterns and trends related to criminal activities, helping them allocate resources effectively.

5. Proximity Alerts:

  • Geofencing allows police to set up alerts when a person of interest enters a particular area. This is useful in cases where restraining orders or other legal restrictions are in place.

6. Missing Persons and Amber Alerts:

  • Geofencing can be used to quickly disseminate information about missing persons or child abduction cases. Alerts can be sent to residents’ mobile devices within a specific geographic range.

7. Surveillance and Stakeouts:

  • Geofencing data can help law enforcement monitor specific locations. For example, if a suspected drug transaction is expected to take place, officers can use geofencing to receive alerts if suspects enter the designated area.

8. Traffic Analysis:

  • Geofencing data can be used to analyze traffic patterns near crime scenes or other relevant locations. This information can be valuable for reconstructing events or identifying potential witnesses.

Instances reported in Media where Pakistan Police Utilized Geofencing

May 2023: The 9th of May Incident Investigations

In May 2023, geofencing technology was utilized in a case involving the planning and execution of an attack on sensitive installations of the Pakistani army and government. The Punjab Police employed geofencing, a technique that involves analyzing internet protocol (IP) addresses, global positioning systems (GPS), and mobile network data to understand the movement and communication patterns of individuals within a specific geographical area.

The investigation revealed that the plan to attack the residence of the Lahore corps commander and other buildings was allegedly orchestrated by former prime minister Imran Khan and his close aides. Geofencing analysis focused on Zaman Park, the location where the planning reportedly took place. More than 400 phone calls were traced through geofencing, linking Imran Khan and other senior leaders to the coordination and incitement of party workers and rioters.

The geofencing analysis indicated that a significant number of calls, specifically 154, were made from Zaman Park on May 8 and May 9. These calls were directed towards party leaders and individuals participating in the riots, seemingly to provoke them into attacking specific targets, including the Lahore corps commander’s residence and other public properties.

Key individuals were identified through geofencing analysis as remaining in contact with rioters and protesters. Names like Yasmin Rashid, Hammad Azhar, Mehmoodur Rasheed, Ijaz Chaudhry, Aslam Iqbal, and Murad Raas were mentioned in connection with maintaining communication with the involved parties. Additionally, the data showed that around 215 people had contacted six leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party on May 9.

Through geofencing, the police were able to quantify the number of calls made by leaders to those who were allegedly participating in vandalizing army and government buildings. This technology provided crucial evidence in establishing links between the planning and the execution of the attack, shedding light on the alleged involvement of political leaders and their efforts to incite violence. Geofencing played a pivotal role in unraveling the communication network that contributed to the coordination of the incident.

In the 9th of May incident described above, where geofencing was used to investigate the planning and execution of an attack on sensitive installations, here’s how geofencing would work from a practical point of view:

  • Defining the Geofence Area: The investigators would start by defining the geofence area, which is the specific geographic region of interest. In this case, the focus would be on Zaman Park, where the planning allegedly took place.
  • Gathering Data: The next step involves collecting data from various sources, including mobile network providers, GPS data, and internet service providers. This data would include information about IP addresses, cell tower locations, and mobile device movements within the geofence area.
  • Analyzing Communication Patterns: By analyzing the data collected, investigators would be able to identify patterns of communication. They would look for connections between individuals, including phone calls, text messages, and data usage, within the specified area during the relevant timeframe.
  • Mapping Communication Trails: Geofencing technology would enable the creation of communication trails or timelines, illustrating who communicated with whom and when. This would help investigators map out the interactions between key individuals, such as Imran Khan, party leaders, and rioters.
  • Identifying Key Individuals: Through data analysis, investigators would be able to identify key individuals who played a role in the communication network within the geofence area. This might include leaders who allegedly coordinated the attack and individuals who participated in the riots.
  • Correlating with Events: Geofencing data would be correlated with significant events, such as the planning phase, the execution of the attack, and any related activities. This would help establish a timeline and provide a clearer understanding of the sequence of events.
  • Geographical Context: Geofencing provides geographical context to communication data. Investigators can see where individuals were located when they made or received calls or messages. This can help corroborate claims, establish alibis, or verify the movement of key individuals.
  • Presenting Evidence: The findings from the geofencing analysis would be compiled into a comprehensive report, detailing communication patterns, timelines, and key individuals involved. This evidence would support the investigation and potentially serve as a basis for legal action.

  • Assistance in Further Actions: The insights gained from geofencing could lead to further actions, such as questioning individuals identified in the communication network, obtaining search warrants, and gathering additional evidence to build a stronger case.

October 2017 The case of the Lone Knifeman in Sindh Pakistan

In October 2017, the Sindh police employed geofencing technology to aid in the apprehension of a “lone knifeman” who was targeting women in the areas of Gulistan-i-Jauhar and Gulshan-i-Iqbal in Karachi. The decision to use geofencing came after a two-week conventional investigation failed to yield results. Geofencing involves collecting cellular communication data from specific locations, marked by police stations that received complaints from victims.

Nine different spots in the targeted areas were selected for geofencing, with the goal of analyzing the data to identify patterns or leads that could help in the investigation. While it might take time to analyze the acquired data, officials believed that combining on-ground intelligence, physical presence of personnel in both uniform and civilian attire, and technological support like geofencing could yield positive results, as it had in previous investigations.

An SSP-rank officer and his team from Sindh police also consulted with Punjab police officers who had successfully solved a similar case in 2015. This exchange of information aimed to leverage the Punjab police’s experience to aid in the Karachi investigation. However, at the time of the report, no arrests had been made, and some young motorcycle riders who were detained were released after initial inquiries.

The police announced a reward of Rs500,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprit(s), and the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, offered a matching sum as a reward for the apprehension of the attacker. The central police office released more sketches of the suspect, urging the public to assist in locating him. The sketches included images of the suspect on different motorbikes and wearing shalwar-kameez in one incident. The public was requested to cooperate with the police, and police presence was increased in the area.

Overall, geofencing was employed as part of a multi-pronged approach to track down a serial attacker targeting women. The technology aimed to provide insights into the suspect’s movements and activities within specific areas, assisting law enforcement in their efforts to bring the perpetrator to justice.

August 2021: TikToker assault case 

In the incident, 24 suspects were arrested for harassing and assaulting a female TikToker and her companions. The arrests were facilitated through the use of geo-fencing technology and cross-checking with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) database. The suspects were tracked down based on their movements within a specific geographic area. More arrests were anticipated, and the negligence of officers during the incident was under investigation.

 After the incident investigation began senior police officers were suspended for negligence and delayed response in handling the incident. The Dolphin Squad  who saved the female TikToker from the mob, described their immediate response upon being informed about the incident and that  due to the rush of people, it took them 30 minutes to reach the crime scene at Minar-e-Pakistan.

The incident took place on August 14 at Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park, where a large crowd of men attacked and looted a woman during Independence Day celebrations. The victim recounted a harrowing ordeal of being assaulted, having her belongings snatched, and being thrown into the air by the crowd.Videos of the incident went viral on social media, leading to the registration of a case against 400 suspects. The government Punjab inspector general of police to investigate the matter. The Punjab government spokesman stated that the culprits were being identified through video footage and would be brought to justice.

 The police stated they had videos and were analyzing the evidence to ascertain the roles of individuals involved.

In the case of the assault on a female TikToker and her companions, geofencing played a crucial role in the investigation. Here’s how it could have been used effectively although there is no news or updates on this case after the basic announcement of investigation using Geofencing techniques by the police 

1. Tracking Suspects Through Geo-Fencing:

  • The suspects were located and taken into custody through geo-fencing. Geo-fencing involves creating virtual boundaries around specific geographic areas. In this case, the movement of suspects’ devices within the vicinity of the incident was tracked using this technology.

2. Cross-Checking with NADRA Database:

  • Geo-fencing data was cross-checked with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) database. This likely involved comparing the location data from geo-fencing with the registered addresses or personal information of individuals in the NADRA database.

3. Real-Time Alerts and Monitoring:

  • Geo-fencing likely enabled law enforcement to receive real-time alerts when the suspects’ devices entered or exited the geofenced area. This allowed authorities to track their movements and take action promptly.

4. Identifying Suspects’ Locations:

  • Geo-fencing would have provided information about the locations where the suspects’ devices were during the time of the incident. This information is essential for establishing the suspects’ presence at the scene.

5. Supporting Evidence and Investigations:

  • The use of geo-fencing data could serve as crucial evidence in the investigation. It would show whether the suspects’ devices were in the proximity of the incident location, potentially linking them to the crime.

6. Data Corroboration:

  • Geo-fencing data could have corroborated witness statements, victim accounts, and other evidence. If the suspects’ devices were tracked to the scene, it could strengthen the case against them.

7. Establishing Timelines:

  • Geo-fencing can help establish timelines of events. It can show when the suspects’ devices entered or exited the geofenced area, helping authorities piece together the sequence of events.

8. Implicating Additional Suspects:

  • If multiple suspects were involved, geo-fencing could have helped identify all individuals present at the scene of the crime. This could aid in implicating all responsible parties.

9. Supporting Administrative Actions:

  • The use of geo-fencing likely played a role in administrative actions, such as suspending officers for negligence and delayed response in dealing with the incident.

10. Enhancing Accountability:

– The use of geo-fencing in this case could enhance accountability within law enforcement. It shows a commitment to using technology and data to identify and apprehend suspects involved in criminal activities.

Overall, geofencing technology was crucial in tracking and identifying suspects in the TikToker assault case. It enabled law enforcement to narrow down the pool of suspects based on their location data and cross-checking with other databases, ultimately leading to arrests.

September 2020:

Lahore motorway rape case:In Lahore, a tragic incident occurred where a mother of three was raped near a motorway, leading to widespread anger and protests across the nation. The police responded by implementing geo-fencing technology to analyze the villages surrounding the motorway within a five-kilometer radius where the crime took place.

During the investigation, the police recovered the victim’s gold ring from the fields where the incident occurred, alongside evidence that the attackers had stolen Rs100,000 in cash and other valuables from the victim before fleeing the scene.

Despite their efforts, a special investigation team (SIT) that visited the crime scene and reconstructed the event couldn’t find concrete clues to identify the culprits. However, Lahore Police managed to complete criminal profiling of 15 individuals who could potentially be involved in the crime. Both traditional and modern methods, including DNA analysis, are being used to investigate the case.

In response to the incident and to enhance security, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Inam Ghani deployed Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP) and Special Protection Unit (SPU) teams on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway. These teams would patrol the motorway around the clock in three shifts to ensure the safety of citizens and prevent criminal activities.

Amid media reports suggesting the arrest of the main culprit, the IGP Punjab dismissed them as “fake news.” He clarified that once suspects are apprehended, their presentation before the world will follow.

Women parliamentarians and civil society members met with IGP Punjab Inam Ghani to discuss the case and voice their concerns. The delegation highlighted the need for measures to protect women and children in society. The IGP assured them that police teams were working diligently to arrest those responsible for the rape case.

In the ongoing investigation, over 70 individuals with criminal records were short-listed, and their locations at the time of the incident were being monitored. Detectives were hired to inspect footprints collected from the crime scene to aid in the inquiry.

The Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raja Basharat declared the Motorway rape case a test case for the Police Department, emphasizing the urgency of apprehending the culprits.

In the incident involving the rape of a mother of three on a motorway near Lahore, geofencing was utilized to aid the investigation in the following ways:

  1. Defining Geofence Area: The investigators defined a geofence area around the villages surrounding the motorway within a five-kilometer radius where the crime occurred. This area was of particular interest for collecting data related to the incident.

  2. Data Collection: Data from various sources, including mobile networks, GPS data, and other communication records, was gathered to understand the movements and communication patterns of individuals within the geofence area during the relevant time frame.

  3. Correlating with Crime Scene: The investigators mapped the location of the crime scene and surrounding areas within the geofence. This helped them correlate communication data with physical locations, potentially identifying suspects or witnesses present in the vicinity.

  4. Identifying Suspects: By analyzing the communication patterns and movements of individuals within the geofence, the police identified 15 suspects who could potentially be involved in the crime. Geofencing provided insights into their presence or movement in the area.

  5. Criminal Profiling: Geofencing facilitated criminal profiling of the suspects. The investigators could gather information about their activities, connections, and potential involvement in the crime based on their communication and movements within the geofence.

  6. DNA Analysis: DNA samples of suspects were collected and sent to the Forensic Science Agency. While not directly related to geofencing, this step is part of the broader investigation process. Once the DNA analysis is complete, it can be correlated with geofencing data to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the case.

  7. Monitoring Locations: The authorities monitored the locations of over 70 individuals with criminal records, assessing their presence within the geofence area at the time of the incident. This monitoring helped narrow down potential suspects and persons of interest.

  8. Strengthening Security: Geofencing also played a role in enhancing security. Additional security teams were deployed along the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, ensuring increased patrolling and surveillance in the geofenced area.

  9. Public Awareness: The police used geofencing to track and monitor communication and movements related to the crime, helping create public awareness about their active efforts to address the incident.

  10. Political Engagement: A delegation of women parliamentarians and civil society members engaged with the police, discussing concerns over the incident. Geofencing data might have been used to present information about the ongoing investigation to these stakeholders.

See also  LLP Registration in Pakistan

Overall, geofencing in this case was employed to analyze communication patterns and movements of individuals within a specific geographic area, aiding in the identification of suspects, criminal profiling, and enhancing security measures. While geofencing alone might not solve the case, it provides valuable insights that, when combined with other investigative methods, contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the incident and aid law enforcement efforts.

August 2021 NADRA’s response to  attacks on journalists and social media activist Asad Ali Toor

Many different agencies and entities are involved in various aspects of criminal investigations that utilize technology like geofencing and DNA testing.

In 2021 the chairman of Nadra, Tariq Malik, clarified that Nadra’s mandate does not extend to tasks related to geofencing and DNA testing. Instead, these responsibilities fall under the purview of other entities like the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA). This distinction underlines the specialization and division of tasks among different agencies, each contributing to a comprehensive approach in solving criminal cases.According to him Nadra’s primary focus is on maintaining a comprehensive national database and registration system, while other agencies handle tasks that require specialized expertise in areas like forensic analysis and geofencing.

He was responding to the incident  involving attacks on journalists and social media activist Asad Ali Toor In this case, the Nadra chairman mentioned that the evidence gathered from the crime scene, such as fingerprints and footage, was not suitable for identification within Nadra’s system. This highlights the technical requirements and standards necessary for using geofencing and forensic evidence effectively in investigations.

He was responding to an investigation by the  National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting which was a committee seeking to gather information and insights from various agencies, such as Nadra, FIA, and police authorities, to better understand how geofencing and DNA testing are being utilized in criminal cases involving attacks on journalists.

The response underscored the collaborative nature of investigations involving technology like geofencing and DNA testing. It’s not just a single agency’s responsibility but requires coordination and expertise from multiple entities. The involvement of the Ministry of Interior and various police departments further highlighted the comprehensive effort required to ensure accurate and thorough investigative processes.The response  showcased how geofencing and DNA testing are integral components of modern criminal investigations in Pakistan, involving a combination of agencies with specialized roles and responsibilities. It highlighted the importance of effective coordination and expertise to ensure the proper utilization of these technologies in solving complex cases.

From the incidents and cases described above, it is evident that geofencing is slowly becoming a significant tool in law enforcement and criminal investigations in Pakistan. Geofencing, the technique of creating virtual boundaries based on geographic areas, is being employed to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of investigations, aiding in the identification, tracking, and apprehension of suspects.

In cases like the assault on a female TikToker and the attack on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, geofencing played a crucial role in identifying suspects and establishing connections. Through the analysis of mobile network data, investigators were able to pinpoint the locations of suspects during the incidents. This data, combined with other evidence, facilitated the identification of individuals involved in the crimes.

Moreover, geofencing has been utilized to map the movement patterns of suspects and witnesses, shedding light on their interactions and activities leading up to and during criminal acts. This not only aids in building a timeline of events but also aids in criminal profiling and identifying patterns that can help predict and prevent similar incidents in the future.

The integration of geofencing with other technological tools, such as surveillance footage analysis and DNA testing, showcases a multi-faceted approach to investigations. The cross-referencing of data from various sources provides a comprehensive view of criminal activities and assists in corroborating or refuting alibis.

However, it’s important to note that geofencing’s effectiveness is dependent on the availability and accuracy of data. In some cases, challenges were faced in terms of the quality of evidence, as highlighted in the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway case. This necessitates constant improvement in data collection methods, as well as the need for well-trained personnel to interpret and analyze geofencing data accurately.

In the context of Pakistan, the implementation of geofencing reflects the country’s growing adoption of advanced technologies in law enforcement. Its application extends beyond just crime-solving; it also plays a role in ensuring public safety and enhancing security measures. Furthermore, geofencing highlights the need for collaboration between various law enforcement agencies, as seen in the coordination between police departments and other authorities.

While geofencing has proven to be a valuable tool, there are ethical considerations that need to be addressed. Balancing privacy concerns and the necessity of public safety is essential. Striking the right balance between using geofencing for legitimate law enforcement purposes and safeguarding citizens’ rights remains a challenge that requires careful deliberation.

Types of Geofencing

There are many types of Geofencing which is a location-based service that uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data to create a virtual boundary around a real-world geographic area. The result of setting up the virtual boundary is that when a device enters or exits the geofence, an action can be triggered. This action can be anything from sending a notification to the device to triggering an event in a software application.

Geofencing is used by businesses and organizations in Pakistan and worldwide for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Marketing and advertising: Geofencing can be used to target mobile ads to users who are in a specific location. For example, a shop could use geofencing to send a notification to users who are within walking distance of their store offering discounts.Social media apps like facebook and twitter and companies like google use your location data to offer their clients geofencing services to reach their users.As there is next to no privacy law in Pakistan targeting data protecting specifically, these companies are able to use your data because you have ‘agreed’ to share your location in their terms and conditions.
  • Security and safety: Geofencing can be used to track the location of devices and people. This can be used for a variety of purposes, such as tracking the location of children or employees, or monitoring the movement of assets.A key use of Geofencing in Pakistan has been tracking down criminals or suspects involved in rioting or public disorder or other crimes. These techniques use biometrics to track down suspects in photographs and videos through biometrics on NADRA and then connect to their location via their telephones or GPS.In Pakistan police and intelligence agencies use geofencing to track down and monitor locations of suspects.In the absence of proper constitutional safeguards and the defense of ‘public interest’, there is little the citizens can do to protect their personal information, activities and location.
  • Fleet management: Geofencing can be used to track the location of vehicles in a fleet. This information can be used to improve efficiency and safety, such as by ensuring that vehicles are not driving in restricted areas or that they are not speeding.This is commonly used by car owners who give out their cars for rent to people.While it helps the owner of the car to track down their property, it poses a dilemma of privacy for the person renting the car.
  • Event management: Geofencing can be used to manage events. For example, a concert promoter could use geofencing to create a geofence around the venue and send notifications to users who are within the geofence when the doors open or when the show starts. This technology has yet to begin its use in Pakistan, as the use of Geofencing is largely seen in marketing so far.An interesting use of Geofencing could be used in the food delivery industry.However large multinationals like Mc Donalds and Dominoes already use some form of Geofencing when getting repeat orders from a phone number, by saving the data and using it to not only identify a repeat client but also geotargeting their ADs to them.

Geofencing is still in its infancy in Pakistan and while it is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, there has to be caution exercised where people’s right to privacy is concerned. A common example is Geofencing warrants or court orders to Google which uses your agreement to share your location to disclose your location at a certain point in time to law enforcement agencies.Geofence warrants or court orders are requests to Google to use its massive library of location data, commonly known as the “Sensorvault,” to identify persons who were in the area when a crime was committed.These requests have been helpful in solving crimes and it is possible that the Pakistani law enforcement agencies might be using similar requests to Google for apprehending criminals where GPS data is not very effective.But this has become a grey area of privacy law.Identifying people around a crime scene who may or may not be witnesses or have nothing to do with a particular crime may be a breach of constitutional rights.Just as the recent decision by California Court of Appeal given a few weeks ago has shown that a geofence warrant seeking information on all devices located within several densely-populated areas in Los Angeles violated the Fourth Amendment. This is the first time an appellate court in the United States has reviewed a geofence warrant. The case was People v Meza.

The month of May 2023 has been a month of increased police surveillance in Pakistan following the arrest of Imran Khan.A lot of emphasis has been placed on tracking down suspects via Geofencing techniques.Whether or not this will trigger a debate as to how far the State can go to utilize geofencing in targeting suspects and political dissidents is yet to be seen.

Call Data Records (CDR) and geofencing are two distinct concepts, but they can be related in certain contexts, particularly in investigations or analyses involving location-based information. Let’s clarify both terms:

Call Data Records (CDR):

Call Data Records (CDR) are detailed logs generated by telecommunications service providers that capture information about calls and text messages made or received by a mobile phone. CDRs typically include details such as the calling and receiving numbers, call duration, date, time, location (cell tower or cell site), and other relevant information. CDRs are used for billing, network optimization, and law enforcement purposes, among others.

Geofencing:

Geofencing is a technology that allows you to create virtual boundaries or geographic areas using GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular, or other location-based services. When a device (such as a mobile phone) enters or exits a designated geofenced area, actions or notifications can be triggered. Geofencing is commonly used for location-based marketing, asset tracking, security, and more.

While CDRs themselves are not a direct part of geofencing, CDRs can provide valuable location data that can be used in conjunction with geofencing. Here’s how they might be related:

  • Enhancing Geofencing with CDRs: In some cases, CDRs can be used to complement geofencing efforts. By analyzing CDRs, you can gain insights into the historical movement patterns and locations of mobile devices. This data can help refine geofencing parameters or provide additional context for location-based events triggered by geofences.
  • Investigative Use: In law enforcement or security investigations, CDRs can be analyzed alongside geofencing data to establish timelines, verify alibis, or determine the presence of devices within specific geographic areas during certain times.
  • Location Verification: CDRs can help verify the accuracy of geofencing data. For example, if a geofence is set up to trigger an action when a device enters a specific area, CDRs can confirm whether the device was indeed within that area based on cell tower or cell site data.

It’s important to note that the use of CDRs and geofencing data raises significant privacy and legal considerations. Access to CDRs typically requires authorization, and the handling of location data must comply with applicable laws and regulations to protect individuals’ privacy rights.

In summary, while CDRs and geofencing serve different primary purposes, they can be used together in certain scenarios, such as enhancing geofencing accuracy or aiding in investigations involving location-based data. Proper legal and ethical considerations should be taken into account when using these technologies.

Geofencing is a technology that law enforcement agencies can utilize to enhance their investigative efforts in instances of crime, particularly when tracking and analyzing the movements of suspects. Here’s a summary of how the police can use geofencing in such cases:

  • Identifying Relevant Locations: In instances of crime, law enforcement first identifies specific locations or areas where the criminal activities have taken place or are suspected to occur. These locations are marked as points of interest for geofencing.
  • Creating Virtual Boundaries: Geofencing involves creating virtual boundaries or zones around the marked locations using GPS or RFID technology. These boundaries are digital perimeters that can trigger notifications or actions when a mobile device enters or exits the defined area.
  • Collecting Mobile Device Data: Law enforcement gathers data from mobile devices that come within the geofenced areas. This data includes information about the devices’ locations, movements, and interactions within the specified zones.
  • Analyzing Movement Patterns: By analyzing the collected data, law enforcement can gain insights into the movement patterns of individuals within the geofenced areas. This analysis can reveal correlations between suspects, victims, and potential witnesses, aiding in the reconstruction of events.
  • Correlating with Crime Timelines: Geofencing data can be correlated with the timeline of criminal activities, helping investigators establish connections between suspects and the locations and times of the crimes. This correlation can provide crucial evidence for building a case.
  • Narrowing Down Suspects: Geofencing can assist in narrowing down the pool of potential suspects by identifying individuals who were present at or near the crime scenes during relevant times. This can guide further investigation and lead to the identification of persons of interest.
  • Tracking Suspect Movements: In ongoing investigations, law enforcement can use geofencing to track the movements of suspects in real time. If a suspect enters a geofenced area, authorities can be alerted, allowing for swift response and potential apprehension.
  • Monitoring Hotspots: Geofencing can be used to monitor known crime hotspots or areas with high criminal activity. By analyzing data from these areas, law enforcement can focus resources on preventive measures and proactive policing.
  • Coordinating Resources: Geofencing technology enables law enforcement agencies to coordinate the deployment of personnel and resources based on real-time data. This can optimize response times and enhance overall situational awareness.
  • Supporting Prosecution: Geofencing data can serve as valuable evidence in court proceedings. It can help establish a suspect’s presence at the crime scene and contribute to building a stronger case against the perpetrator.

Overall, geofencing provides law enforcement with a powerful tool to gather and analyze location-based data, aiding investigations, improving situational awareness, and enhancing the effectiveness of policing strategies in instances of crime.

As the technology continues to develop in Pakistan, we can expect to see even more innovative and creative uses for geofencing in the future.But what is missing is a comprehensive body of legislation and constitutional decisions which draw the line as to the extent surveillance can go and infringe upon the privacy of people, whether they are common potential consumers or suspects in possible breaches of the law.

Geofencing is still a new concept for Pakistani police agencies but there are a lot of cases where courts have ruled on the admissibility of Call Data Records, especially in criminal law cases as discussed below.The key points and takeaways regarding Call Data Records (CDRs) from these cases (discussed further below) are as follows: 

  1. Importance of Proper Evidence Handling:

    • The authenticity and admissibility of CDRs are crucial factors in establishing a case.
    • CDRs should be collected, verified, and presented in a proper manner to be considered credible evidence.
  2. Verification and Authenticity:

    • CDRs must be properly verified by the concerned authorities.
    • Absence of signatures or verification stamps on CDRs can raise doubts about their authenticity.
  3. Linking CDRs to Accused:

    • CDRs should be clearly linked to the accused’s mobile number to establish their connection to the alleged offense.
    • Inaccurate linking of CDRs to the accused can weaken the prosecution’s case.
  4. Corroborating Evidence:

    • CDRs should be supported by other evidence that corroborates their content, such as witness statements or other data.
    • Relying solely on CDRs without additional supporting evidence can lead to doubts about their accuracy.
  5. Contradictions and Discrepancies:

    • Discrepancies between CDR data and other evidence, such as SMS messages or recovery memos, can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
    • Inconsistencies within the evidence can lead to reasonable doubt in the court’s evaluation.
  6. Proper Documentation:

    • Recovery memos and documentation related to CDRs should be accurately prepared and maintained to ensure transparency in the case.
  7. Benefit of Doubt:

    • In cases where CDR evidence is not conclusive or contradicted, courts tend to lean towards granting the benefit of doubt to the accused.
    • Doubts arising from the evidence can result in acquittals, especially if the prosecution fails to establish a clear link between the accused and the alleged offense.
  8. Role in Acquittals:

    • In cases where CDR evidence is the primary basis for the charges, discrepancies in CDR data and lack of supporting evidence can contribute to the acquittal of the accused.
  9. Need for Comprehensive Investigation:

    • Cases involving CDRs should be investigated thoroughly to ensure that all relevant evidence is collected and inconsistencies are addressed.
  10. Further Inquiry:

    • When CDR evidence is not definitive, courts may call for further inquiry to clarify doubts and uncertainties before arriving at a judgment.

Proper handling, verification, and presentation of CDRs are crucial to their credibility in legal proceedings. In situations where CDR evidence is central to the case, it’s essential to ensure that all aspects of its collection and presentation are handled meticulously to avoid raising doubts about its authenticity and relevance.

Below is review of cases where CDRs have been involved as evidence in previous case.Interestingly CDRs have only become instrumental as evidence since the past 6 or 7 years.

In the recent case of Mst. ASIYA vs. State, as cited in the 2023 SCMR 383 Supreme Court report, the issue of the evidentiary value of Call Data Records (CDRs) was examined. The appellant, Mst. ASIYA, was pitted against the State in a matter where CDRs were presented as evidence. The central question revolved around whether CDRs alone could serve as conclusive evidence to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused individual. The court highlighted that in the absence of concrete material, CDRs cannot be deemed as a definitive piece of evidence to establish the culpability or exoneration of the accused. This case underscores the importance of substantial supporting evidence alongside CDRs to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

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Moving on to another case, the 2023 YLR 901 Lahore High Court Lahore report records the case of Syed ALI AKBAR against the State. The appellant faced charges under S. 302(b) for the alleged murder of the complainant’s father. The case revolved around the appreciation of evidence and the concept of benefit of doubt. The court evaluated the evidentiary value of Call Data Records (CDRs) presented during the trial. The CDRs showed basic information such as the phone numbers of the caller and recipient, location, and call duration. However, the court noted that the CDRs lacked conclusive evidence about the content of the conversation between the parties. As a result, the court ruled that the mere presence of CDRs does not establish the accused’s involvement in the crime beyond a shadow of a doubt. Consequently, the appeal was allowed, and the accused was acquitted based on the principle that the prosecution failed to substantiate its case with irrefutable evidence.

The case of AKBAR alias MOHSIN vs. State, cited in the 2023 PCrLJ 917 Lahore High Court Lahore report, presented a scenario where the appellant was charged with serious offenses including murder, kidnapping, and causing the disappearance of evidence. The case revolved around the examination of evidence, particularly the CDRs, to establish the accused’s guilt beyond a shadow of doubt. The court scrutinized the evidentiary value of the CDRs, which contained basic information such as caller and recipient numbers, location, and call duration. However, the court observed that these records lacked essential verification and attestation from the IT Branch of the DPO Office, which raised concerns about their reliability. Furthermore, the court noted that the investigating officer failed to ascertain the ownership of the mobile phone number in question, as well as the registration of the associated SIM card. These gaps in the prosecution’s case, combined with the absence of concrete evidence linking the accused to the crime, led the court to conclude that the CDRs alone were not conclusive proof of the accused’s involvement. Consequently, the court allowed the appeal against conviction, highlighting the importance of comprehensive evidence in establishing guilt.

In the case of SHER MUHAMMAD vs. ANTI-TERRORISM COURT NO.IV, KARACHI DIVISION, as cited in the 2023 YLR 541 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the appellant faced charges under various sections including attempted murder, assault on a public servant, extortion, and possessing illicit arms. The case involved the recovery of a mobile phone from the possession of the accused, and the court analyzed the evidence presented to determine the accused’s guilt. The court took into account the testimony of an independent witness who reported the theft of his phone by the accused. The court emphasized the credibility of this witness, noting that he had no motive to fabricate a false story. The Call Data Record (CDR) analysis revealed that calls were made from the recovered phone to the complainant’s number at the location where the extortion amount was to be collected. This direct correlation between the phone’s activity and the criminal act played a pivotal role in establishing the accused’s involvement. The court, however, differentiated the offenses and acquitted the accused of charges falling under the Anti-Terrorism Act while maintaining convictions for other offenses.

In the case of NOOR AHMED alias AHMED AGHA vs. State, as referenced in the 2022 PCrLJ 1126 Quetta High Court Balochistan report, the appellant was charged with murder under Section 302(b) and common intention under Section 34. The central question revolved around the validity and sufficiency of the Call Data Records (CDRs) as evidence to prove the accused’s involvement in the crime. The court examined the CDR data of the deceased’s mobile phone and noted the absence of any record regarding the CDR of the accused. Moreover, uncertainties persisted regarding the ownership of the telephone/SIM number used by both the deceased and the accused. The court raised concerns about the lack of attestation and witness association with the CDR presented by the prosecution. These gaps, coupled with the absence of concrete evidence linking the accused to the crime, led the court to conclude that the CDR evidence was insufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The appeal against conviction was allowed based on the prosecution’s failure to provide conclusive evidence.

Turning to the case of JAMSHAID alias BABLU vs. State, as highlighted in the 2022 YLR 1822 Lahore High Court Lahore report, the appellant faced charges under various sections, including kidnapping for ransom and act of terrorism. The case centered on the appreciation of evidence, particularly the CDRs, to ascertain the accused’s involvement. The court observed that multiple investigating officers failed to verify the ownership of the SIM allegedly used for demanding ransom. The Call Data Records (CDRs) provided as evidence lacked details about the ownership and context of mobile numbers used. The court emphasized that the CDRs should conclusively establish ownership and call locations. Since the provided CDR evidence failed to fulfill these criteria and lacked substantial value, the court concluded that the prosecution had not proven its case beyond a shadow of a doubt. Consequently, the appeal was allowed, and the accused were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

In the case of Mst. SEEMA vs. State, as cited in the 2022 YLRN 67 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the appellant faced multiple charges, including murder and acts of terrorism. The case involved the examination of evidence against both the accused and a co-accused. The court deliberated on the evidentiary value of Call Data Records (CDRs) that showed communication between the co-accused and the deceased. Despite the presence of CDR evidence, the court concluded that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the co-accused was involved in the crime as per their interpretation. The court emphasized that the prosecution’s version of events couldn’t be substantiated without direct evidence, such as tape recordings of the conversations. Consequently, the court allowed the appeal of the co-accused, highlighting the need for strong evidence to establish guilt.

In the case of JALAL AHMED vs. State, as mentioned in the 2020 PCrLJN 99 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the appellant faced charges including murder and kidnapping for ransom. The court examined a variety of evidence, including Call Data Records (CDRs), oral testimony, and the recovery of a mobile phone. The court highlighted the significance of reliable evidence, such as the CDR matching the phone of the victim’s mother and the recovered phone of the accused. The court observed that these elements corroborated the prosecution’s case. Additionally, independent witnesses and the recovery of the victim’s body on the accused’s pointation further solidified the case against the accused. The court dismissed the appeal, underlining the importance of a consistent and corroborated prosecution case.

In the case of GHULAM MUSTAFA vs. State, as referenced in the 2019 PCrLJN 102 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the appellant sought bail on charges of kidnapping and abducting for marriage. The court weighed inconsistencies in statements against the nature of the case and concluded that such discrepancies weren’t sufficient to grant bail. The court also emphasized that bail decisions shouldn’t involve a deep analysis of evidence. The court considered the prosecution’s version of events and the evidence available, including Call Data Records (CDRs), to establish reasonable grounds for the charges. The court refused bail based on the prohibitory clause of S. 497(1) of the Cr.P.C.

In the case of FAHEEM KHAN vs. State, as mentioned in the 2018 MLD 1654 Peshawar High Court report, the appellant faced charges related to possession of narcotics. The case revolved around the discovery of narcotics beneath the driver’s seat of the accused’s vehicle. The defense raised plausible doubts about the prosecution’s version, pointing out inconsistencies in the timeline and presenting evidence of the accused’s mobile data that contradicted the prosecution’s claims. The court found the defense’s version more credible and genuine, emphasizing the principle of benefit of doubt. Consequently, the appeal was allowed, and the accused was acquitted based on the lack of concrete evidence against him.

In the case of MUHAMMAD SIDDIQUE vs. State, as discussed in the 2017 PCrLJN 202 Lahore High Court Lahore report, the appellant sought bail in a case involving murder charges. The court considered various factors, including police case diaries, telephonic call data, and the absence of recovered weapons. The court highlighted the importance of tangible evidence and reasonable doubt, granting bail to the accused based on the material collected during the investigation.

In the case of AKBAR alias MOHSIN vs. State, as referenced in the 2023 PCrLJ 917 Lahore High Court Lahore report, the appellant faced charges of murder and kidnapping. The case centered on the reliability of Call Data Records (CDRs) as evidence. The court pointed out various shortcomings in the CDR evidence, such as the lack of attestation and ownership confirmation of the mobile phone number. Additionally, inconsistencies in the investigative process raised doubts about the prosecution’s version. The court emphasized that CDR evidence alone wasn’t sufficient to establish guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Consequently, the appeal against conviction was allowed due to insufficient evidence.

In the case of STATE/ANTI-NARCOTICS FORCE vs. IMDAD ALI, as outlined in the 2023 PCrLJ 111 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the accused sought to obtain the CDR of the complainant’s phone from a relevant franchise. The Trial Court had dismissed this application. The accused questioned the complainant’s presence at the scene of the incident, suggesting that the CDR could verify his actual location. The accused had already presented a photostat copy of the CDR in his statement under Section 342 of the Cr.P.C. The court directed the Trial Court to summon an official from the relevant mobile company franchise for verification, highlighting the importance of verifying such evidence.

In the case of MUHAMMAD IRFAN vs. State, detailed in the 2023 YLRN 17 Karachi High Court Sindh report, the accused faced charges related to the abduction and subsequent murder of a minor for ransom. The Call Data Record (CDR) played a significant role in this case. However, the court pointed out several shortcomings in the prosecution’s evidence presentation. The lack of clear connection between the recovered SIM cards and the accused persons, absence of relevant mobile numbers in the memo of initial arrest and recovery, and the failure to produce a transcript or audio recording of the ransom calls all weakened the prosecution’s case. The court emphasized that without substantial evidence, the CDR alone could not establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. As a result, the appeal against conviction was allowed.

In the case of SHAMEEM BIBI vs. State, discussed in the 2022 SCMR 2077 Supreme Court report, the Supreme Court highlighted the limited scope of reliance on Call Data Records (CDRs). The court emphasized that without concrete material to support CDR evidence, it cannot be considered as conclusive evidence to ascertain an accused’s guilt.

In the case of SHAMEEM BIBI vs. State, as detailed in the 2022 SCMR 2077 Supreme Court report, the accused, an elderly woman, was implicated in a crime through a supplementary statement. The allegations against her involved abetment. However, key details, such as the specific date, time, and place of the alleged conspiracy, were missing. The court noted that the essential elements of abetment were not met, and the reliance on Call Data Record (CDR) alone without concrete supporting material was insufficient. Considering these factors and the advanced age of the accused, the Supreme Court allowed her bail, emphasizing that the case warranted further inquiry into her guilt.

The case of Sheikh ARSALAN, discussed in the 2022 PCrLJ 1308 Quetta High Court Balochistan report, involved charges of robbery and murder. The recovery of a crime weapon, mobile phone, and crime empties played a crucial role in the proceedings. However, the prosecution’s handling of evidence became a point of contention. The recovery of the crime weapon and alleged snatched mobile phone was not properly exhibited before the Trial Court. The court ordered a retrial with the testimony of witnesses of the recovery memo and the presentation of case property.

In the case of NOOR AHMED alias AHMED AGHA, outlined in the 2022 PCrLJ 1126 Quetta High Court Balochistan report, centered on charges of murder and common intention. The prosecution’s reliance on Call Data Record (CDR) data from the deceased’s mobile raised concerns. There was a lack of CDR data from the accused’s side, and the ownership of the telephone/SIM number was not adequately established. The court emphasized that CDR, even assuming both parties’ mobiles were in the same area, was not sufficient evidence without proper verification, attestation, or witness testimony. Consequently, the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a shadow of doubt, leading to the appeal against conviction being allowed.

In the case of JALAL UD DIN, as documented in the 2022 YLRN 68 Quetta High Court Balochistan report, the accused faced charges of murder based on a retracted judicial confession that mentioned a phone call between the accused and the deceased. However, the prosecution failed to provide the Call Data Record (CDR) of the cell phone as evidence, and no investigation was conducted to trace the numbers registered in the names of the accused and the deceased. Without sufficient incriminating evidence, the court granted the appeal against conviction, emphasizing the lack of concrete proof.

The case of Mst. SHAHEEN ZARI, outlined in the 2022 YLR 1901 Peshawar High Court report, involved allegations of murder and illicit relations. The prosecution relied on CDR evidence from the deceased’s SIM card and an SIM allegedly used by the accused. However, the prosecution did not establish any telephonic contact between the accused and the deceased with convincing evidence. The court found the prosecution unable to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, leading to the acquittal of the accused due to insufficient evidence.

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Lastly, the case of NAJEEB ULLAH, discussed in the 2022 YLR 838 Peshawar High Court report, revolved around a murder charge and CDR evidence. The prosecution’s reliance on the CDR data attributed to the accused was undermined because the cell number was registered under his brother’s name. The lack of additional evidence linking the mobile SIM or phone to the accused led the court to conclude that the prosecution failed to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Consequently, the appeal against conviction was allowed.

In the case of JAMSHAID alias BABLU, highlighted in the 2022 YLR 1822 Lahore High Court Lahore report, the accused faced charges of kidnapping for ransom. The prosecution presented CDR evidence related to the accused’s alleged use of a SIM card for ransom demands. However, the CDR records lacked details about ownership and context of use. Without conclusive evidence connecting the accused to the mobile number in question, the court ruled that the prosecution failed to establish its case beyond a shadow of doubt, resulting in the acquittal of the accused.

In the case of RASHED alias CHAND, detailed in the 2022 PCrLJ 664 Lahore High Court Lahore report, the accused were charged with murder. The prosecution relied on CCTV footage and CDR evidence. However, the CCTV footage lacked clarity and did not provide identifiable visuals of the culprits. Additionally, no representative from the cellular company testified to authenticate the CDR evidence. Due to these evidentiary shortcomings, the court dismissed the appeal while modifying the sentences of the accused.

In the case of HAMZA SADAQAT, as outlined in the 2022 YLR 1024 Islamabad report, the accused was charged with murder based on firing that resulted in multiple deaths. Despite the police’s opinion, derived from CDR, suggesting the accused was not present at the crime scene, the injured witness and two other eye-witnesses specifically implicated the accused in causing a fatal injury. With sufficient material connecting the accused to the crime, the court dismissed the petition for bail, citing the prohibitory clause of Section 497 of the Cr.P.C.

In the case of MUHAMMAD SHAHZAD, featured in the 2022 PCrLJ 1442 Islamabad report, the accused was granted pre-arrest bail while co-accused persons were implicated in taking the deceased with them. However, CDR evidence indicated the accused’s presence near the crime scene at the relevant time. Additionally, a witness statement under Section 161 of the Cr.P.C. supported the presence of the accused with co-accused persons and the deceased. Considering this incriminating material and the absence of malice or mala fide on the complainant’s part, the court ruled that the pre-arrest bail granted to the accused should be recalled.

In the 2021 SCMR 522 Supreme Court case of Mian KHALID PERVIZ, the court reiterated the importance of meticulous handling of CDR data as evidence. The mere production of CDR data without transcripts of calls or end-to-end audio recordings was deemed unreliable. The court stressed that not only call transcripts but also establishing that callers on both ends were the same individuals whose CDR data was being used in evidence was crucial. Given the potential for manipulation in the digital age, the court dismissed the appeal and maintained the conviction and sentence.

Similarly, in the 2021 SCMR 449 Supreme Court case of KAMRAN ATTAULLAH, the court refused anticipatory bail in a financial scam case. Incriminating statements from various witnesses were forensically confirmed using computer CDR and ledgers from a co-accused. The court emphasized that comprehensive and unmistakable evidence pointed to the accused persons’ conduct that deviated from their duty. The petition for leave to appeal was dismissed, and anticipatory bail was refused.

In the 2021 YLR 2233 Peshawar High Court case of MUJTABA HASSAN, the accused was granted bail in a murder case. The incident was unseen, and the complainant’s statement under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. naming the accused was made after a considerable delay. No direct evidence was available to establish the accused’s involvement, and the CDR evidence indicating the accused’s presence in the village lacked corroborative evidence. The court found that the refusal of bail based solely on the CDR evidence was unjustified, especially when the FIR or the statement under Section 164 did not mention that the deceased was last seen with the accused.

The 2021 PCrLJ 1274 Peshawar High Court case involving State vs. SHAHID HUSSAIN revolved around a possession of narcotic charge. The prosecution’s case was based on the recovery of charas from an envelop along with a mobile belonging to the accused. However, the CDR data presented by the prosecution lacked proper authentication. The CDR data mentioned details such as the SIM number and the accused’s name with CNIC number, but it had not been attested or endorsed by the responsible official of the cellular company. Additionally, the official who prepared or extracted the data was not produced in court to testify its authenticity. The court questioned how the FIR number and police station details were included in the CDR data, especially since the case was registered after the CDR data date. The court concluded that such secondary evidence couldn’t be relied upon and dismissed the appeal against the accused’s acquittal.

In the 2021 YLRN 126 Peshawar High Court case of MUHAMMAD ASHRAF, the accused was granted bail in a kidnapping case. The complainant’s changing statements and the absence of strong evidence caused doubts in the case. Initially, the complainant implicated two individuals, but later shifted blame to others without disclosing the source of his information. The accused was charged based solely on CDR evidence, and no independent evidence connected them to the offense. The divergent statements of the complainant cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, leading to the bail’s approval.

The 2021 YLRN 127 Lahore High Court case concerning MUHAMMAD ZIA UR REHMAN dealt with murder charges. The accused asserted an alibi defense, claiming he was elsewhere during the incident. The defense’s evidence included witness statements and the absence of their mobile phone CDR records to prove their presence elsewhere. However, these efforts were insufficient to establish the alibi’s credibility. In this case, the court’s decision illustrated the importance of presenting strong and credible evidence to support such defenses.

The 2021 PCrLJ 1502 Karachi High Court case featuring MUHAMMAD SOHAIL revolved around kidnapping and terrorism charges. The prosecution presented circumstantial evidence, including CDR data, to link the accused to the crime. However, the CDR evidence didn’t provide a clear link to the ransom demand, and no physical evidence tied the accused to communication related to the crime. The absence of voice recordings and uncertainties in the prosecution’s case led to doubts. The court recognized these doubts and granted the accused the benefit of doubt, leading to the appeal against conviction being allowed.

In the case of HIMAT ALI (2021 PCrLJ 150 Karachi High Court), the court dealt with kidnapping and illegal firearm possession charges. The accused’s arrest led to a police encounter where the abductee was rescued. Despite not holding an identification parade, the court found the identification testimony of eyewitnesses and the abductee sufficient. The Call Data Record (CDR) evidence, alongside other circumstantial evidence, established the prosecution’s case, leading to the conviction being upheld.

The case of ABDUL SHAKOOR JAMRO (2021 YLRN 140 Karachi High Court) involved multiple charges, including criminal conspiracy and armed rioting. The accused was alleged to be the instigator and facilitator of the crime based on CDR evidence and the complainant’s statement. However, the court found that the probative value of the CDR evidence required a comprehensive analysis of all evidence during the trial’s conclusion. As the accused’s active role wasn’t established, the court recognized the need for further inquiry and granted bail.

ABDUL RASHEED’s case (2021 YLRN 73 Karachi High Court) involved charges of murder and attempt to commit murder. The accused presented an alibi defense supported by CDR evidence showing his presence elsewhere during the incident. With enmity between the parties and doubts in the prosecution’s case, the court granted bail, emphasizing the need for further inquiry.

In the case of NAQEEBULLAH (2020 MLD 1492 Quetta High Court), the court emphasized the importance of proper evidence handling. Issues arose with the recovery and analysis of weapons and empties, and doubts were cast on the prosecution’s version due to unexplained delays and discrepancies. The court ruled that mere placement of mobile data on record was insufficient, and CDR evidence without proper attestation couldn’t be relied upon. The conviction was set aside, and the accused were acquitted.

In the case of IMTIAZ KHAN (2020 PCrLJ 202 Peshawar High Court), the court emphasized the importance of proper evidence handling and the need for complete and corroborated evidence. The prosecution’s case, which relied on the recovery of narcotics from the accused, lacked essential elements such as a complete case property record, proper handling of samples, and CDR evidence linking the accused to drug traffickers. These shortcomings led to the acquittal of the accused.

In the case of AFAQ AHMED (2020 YLR 676 Karachi High Court), issues arose with the non-production of a material witness due to security concerns. The court emphasized that withholding evidence due to security concerns wasn’t a strong argument. The absence of testimony from the friend of the complainant, who informed the complainant about the incident over the phone, led to doubts about the hearsay evidence presented. The accused was acquitted based on the principle that the witness might not have given evidence favorable to the prosecution.

In ABDUL RAHEEM’s case (2020 PLD 473 Karachi High Court) revolved around a confessional statement made by a co-accused. The court declined to rely solely on the confessional statement without independent corroborative evidence. The absence of such evidence led to the acquittal of the accused.

In the case of SAGHEER AHMED alias BHAYA (2020 MLD 1377 Karachi High Court), circumstantial evidence played a significant role. The accused was arrested, leading to the recovery of a dead body and firearms. The court found the corroborative circumstantial evidence, including CDR data and Forensic Science Laboratory reports, strong enough to link the accused to the crime. The accused’s conviction was upheld.

In JALAL AHMED’s case (2020 PCrLJN 99 Karachi High Court), the prosecution built its case on oral evidence from the complainant and his wife, along with CDR data linking the accused to the complainant’s wife. The court emphasized the reliability of the evidence, including the connection between the accused and the complainant’s wife through CDR data. The court found the accused guilty based on this evidence.

In ZAHID HUSSAIN’s case (2020 YLRN 102 Federal Shariat Court), the court found issues with the admissibility and relevance of Call Data Records (CDR) in the case. The prosecution conceded that CDR was not relevant due to the absence of the recovery of the deceased’s mobile phone. This, along with other considerations, led to the appeal against conviction being allowed.

MUHAMMAD PARVAIZ’s case (2019 YLR 2213 Peshawar High Court) focused on the evaluation of evidence in a kidnapping to compel for marriage case. The court found that testimony based on hearsay evidence was insufficient to convict the accused. Moreover, the court emphasized that CDR should be properly obtained and authenticated, and the confession of the co-accused lacked the elements of force and coercion. The conviction was set aside.

In the case involving AZAM KHAN (2019 YLR 1734 Peshawar High Court), the appeal was against an acquittal. The court highlighted the lack of direct eyewitnesses to the crime, and the absence of evidence supporting allegations of illicit relations between the deceased and the accused. The court also raised concerns about the authenticity of CDR evidence and the lack of conclusive evidence tying the accused to the crime. The trial court’s acquittal was upheld.

In the case of GHULAM MUSTAFA (2019 PCrLJN 102 Karachi High Court), the issue of inconsistent statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164 of the Cr.P.C. was raised. The court ruled that minor contradictions in statements did not necessarily warrant bail, especially considering the nature of the case involving the alleged abduction of women on gunpoint. The validity and reliability of Call Data Records (CDR) were also addressed.

ZAHIR RAHMAN’s case (2018 PCrLJ 1465 Peshawar High Court) centered around the use of circumstantial evidence, specifically the CDR. The court questioned whether the CDR sufficiently established the accused’s involvement in the crime. The court highlighted the need for clear evidence linking the accused to the offense.

In SALMAN alias LAMBA’s case (2018 YLR 1092 Karachi High Court), the accused were charged with extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt. The prosecution relied on the complainant’s evidence and the recovery of weapons and mobile phones. However, the court found several discrepancies and inconsistencies in the evidence and procedures followed, including the handling of CDR. These issues led to the acquittal of the accused.

In the case of NABEEL (2018 PCrLJN 136 Karachi High Court), the accused faced charges of extortion and putting a person in fear of injury to commit extortion. The court found discrepancies in the evidence, such as the absence of an identification parade after the arrest of the accused and the recovery of a cell phone SIM card in the name of someone else. These inconsistencies led to doubts about the authenticity of the prosecution’s case and resulted in the acquittal of the accused.

KALEEM ULLAH’s case (2018 YLR 2363 Federal Shariat Court) involved charges under the Anti-Terrorism Act related to a murder during a robbery. The court highlighted issues with the alleged confessional statement of the accused, noting contradictions between the statement and corroborating evidence. The court also questioned the reliability of the Call Data Record (CDR) as evidence and the lack of proper documentation regarding the recovered stolen car. Due to these doubts and discrepancies, the accused was acquitted.

MUKHTAR AHMAD’s case (2017 PCrLJ 1092 Lahore High Court) focused on bail and further inquiry. The accused was named in the FIR, but the Investigating Officer’s findings suggested he wasn’t present at the scene during the incident. The court considered the Call Data Record (CDR) of the accused’s mobile number and affidavits from several witnesses to support the conclusion that the accused’s case warranted further inquiry. As a result, the accused was granted bail.

In the case of SHAKEELA BIBI (2017 MLD 1091 Lahore High Court), the accused was granted pre-arrest bail. The court noted that the investigating officer had not collected substantial evidence against the accused other than a Call Data Record (CDR), which did not conclusively link the accused to the alleged offense. The court pointed out discrepancies in the complainant’s statements and the lack of proper documentation regarding the CDR. The court concluded that the accused’s involvement was uncertain, and the case called for further inquiry. The bail was confirmed considering the circumstances.

In the case involving BEHRAM KHAN (2016 MLD 1363 Peshawar High Court), the State appealed against the acquittal of the accused in an abduction for ransom case. The court found various deficiencies in the prosecution’s evidence, including the absence of verified CDR and recovery memos for mobile phones. The court also highlighted contradictions in the statements of the alleged abductee. The court emphasized the importance of proper identification procedures and noted that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond doubt. The acquittal was upheld based on the lack of credible evidence.

In the case of SABIR SHAH (2016 YLRN 25 Peshawar High Court), the accused was seeking bail in a case involving charges of murder, attempted murder, house trespass, and common intention. The court observed discrepancies between the hand-written SMS attributed to the accused and the Call Data Record (CDR) recovered from the deceased assailant’s SIM card. The court emphasized the lack of substantial evidence and noted that the case warranted further inquiry. Since the investigation was already completed, and the accused’s presence was not required by the police, the court granted bail.

By The Josh and Mak Team

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