Updated: September 2, 2021 6:51:49 am
A senior IPS officer and former police commissioner of Bengaluru, Bhaskar Rao, has filed a protest plea in a local court in Bengaluru over a CBI move to file a closure report in an investigation into the leakage of a phone intercept by the Bengaluru police to the media in 2019.
The 1990 batch IPS officer filed the protest memo on Tuesday against a CBI report of June 30, 2021 for closure of the probe into the audio leak of an official phone intercept to the media on account of the lack of evidence to establish how the intercept reached the media.
“The petitioner-victim in the above case presents this protest complaint against acceptance of the closure report filed by the CBI agency in its final report no.8/2021 dated 30/06/2021,” says the protest plea filed in a magistrate’s court by the former Bengaluru police commissioner.
The CBI has investigated the leakage of a conversation between Bhaskar Rao and an alleged middleman – who was under surveillance for alleged links to a ponzi firm – to the media in 2019. The leak occurred when Rao was set to become the Bengaluru police commissioner by replacing another IPS officer Alok Kumar – who had been in office for barely two months.
Based on investigations at a technical cell of the Bengaluru police where the phone calls were intercepted, the CBI has found that the conversation which was aired on a local television channel was handed to the former police commissioner Alok Kumar on the day he was stepping down.
The CBI has questioned journalists who received the audio clip and broadcast it on their channel. The agency has filed a closure report on the case saying there was no evidence to indicate how the confidential recordings landed in the hands of the media.
“After more than two and a half years of investigation during which not a single person was shown as either a suspect or an accused, the CBI has filed this closure report and hence the present protest petition/complaint has been necessitated,” says the protest petition filed by Rao.
The leak of phone interceptions to the media is part of a larger CBI probe into alleged illegal phone tapping of politicians and other public personalities during the tenure of a Congress-JDS coalition. The case was handed over to the CBI in August 2019 by the BJP government after a furore over the alleged phone tapping by the previous Congress-JDS regime.
The IPS officer Rao has asked the magistrates court to “reject the final report of the CBI” and to take cognisance of offences against accused persons or to direct the CBI to conduct further investigations in the case.
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