Updated: January 13, 2022 7:37:31 am
THE UNION government is likely to challenge the magistrate court’s order which directed it to hand over documents and
electronic devices to the state government for the probe in connection with the documents leak case the Mumbai police is probing.
On December 28, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate had allowed a Maharashtra government application seeking documents and electronic devices from the Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs and directed the production of the documents and pen drive on or before January 10.
The Union government through its counsel approached the magistrate court seeking further time for compliance stating that it wants to file an appeal. The appeal is likely to be filed this week before the sessions court.
The document and pen drive sought by the state government relate to a press conference held by former Chief Minister of Devendra Fadnavis on March 23, 2021. The Leader of Opposition had read out contents of a confidential letter addressed to the then Director General of Police. The Maharashtra government had submitted to the court that it is probing an FIR registered against unknown persons under the Officials Secret Act for the leak of the documents. Its investigating officer submitted that the documents and electronic devices were handed over by Fadnavis to the home secretary. The officer submitted that despite repeatedly requesting the Union secretary for the documents, no response was received.
The court said that the video clips of the press conference show that the documents and pen drives were said to have been handed over to the home secretary. “It is important to note here that the respondent ie, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, has not denied the receipt of said documents and pen drive from the respectable leader of opposition. It means that at present, the respondent is in possession of the said documents and pen drive,” the court said.
It said that the documents are necessary for the probe being conducted by the Mumbai cyber police, directing the home secretary to hand it over.
The Maharashtra government, while seeking the documents, cited the Bombay High Court order last month where the court had rejected a plea by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla challenging the Mumbai police FIR stating that a prima facie cognizable offence has been made out and the police have a duty to investigate it.
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