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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

FIR does not name Rashmi Shukla, so she can’t challenge it: Maharashtra govt to HC

The affidavit filed by DCP Rashmi Karandikar says that since it was Rashmi Shukla herself who had marked the report allegedly containing the list of IPS officers who were lobbying for postings as “confidential”, leaking of the report should constitute an offence.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: September 6, 2021 3:31:22 am
The court directed the state to set up a special committee comprising BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and additional commissioner Suresh Kakani. (File)

THE MAHARASHTRA government in an affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court said that the FIR in the “report leak” case does not name IPS officer Rashmi Shukla and hence she cannot challenge it.

The affidavit filed by DCP Rashmi Karandikar says that since it was Shukla herself who had marked the report allegedly containing the list of IPS officers who were lobbying for postings as “confidential”, leaking of the report should constitute an offence.

“Since leak of secret information constitutes a cognizable offence, the FIR should not be quashed,” the 13-page affidavit states.

Karandikar mentions in the affidavit that the FIR should not be quashed as they are investigating who had control over the documents and hence could have leaked it. The affidavit also denied the allegation that there was no vendetta, malafides or illegality in transferring Shukla to Civil Defence last year.

The affidavit further denied that the state had carried out a “roving enquiry” against her by issuing her summons and stated that it was done to investigate the matter and that the investigation was not directed against her.

Purported call recordings of alleged lobbying by some IPS officers in Maharashtra with the then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were made available to Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis earlier this year.

An FIR was registered against unidentified persons to find out how the sensitive data was leaked out at the BKC cyber police station on April 26. Shukla had been issued summons to record her statement and eventually a team from Mumbai police had recorded her statement in Hyderabad, where she is currently posted with the CRPF.

Shukla was the SID Commissioner when the call recordings are believed to have been made. Alleging the call recordings indicated lobbying by IPS officers, Shukla had forwarded a report about the same to the then DGP Subodh Jaiswal, who then provided these details to CM Uddhav Thackeray to apprise him of the situation last year.

Earlier this year, controversy broke out after former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claimed to have the confidential call recordings, following which an FIR was registered against unknown persons under the Official Secrets Act at BKC cyber police station.

The HC bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar will next hear the petition on September 13.

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