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CBI won’t return Shahid Balwa’s BlackBerrys

CBI has decided to send the phones for forensic examination to retrieve deleted data, if any.

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CBI has turned down a request by Shahid Usman Balwa, former DB Realty director and a key accused in the 2G spectrum scam, to hand over to his family the two BlackBerry phones seized from him at the time of his arrest. The agency claimed the phones were crucial evidence of his involvement in the scam.

CBI has decided to send the phones for forensic examination to retrieve deleted data, if any. Sources said the phones had given the agency vital links to the scam’s money trail.

“Balwa’s call detail records have given our investigators some vital clues which have helped us establish the money trail. We are examining some SMSes and emails sent and received on the phones. Forensic examination of the phones could provide further evidence in the case,” a senior CBI officer probing the scam said.

The agency has so far traced more than 200 contacts of Balwa from the phones.

The Balwa family has petitioned a Delhi court to get the phones back. “The phones are lying with CBI for the past two months. If their examination is over, the phones may be returned to us, so that we can answer any important calls,” Ishad, brother of Balwa, said.

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