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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Rashmi Shukla moves Bombay HC, seeks no coercive action in ‘phone tapping’ case

The alleged tapping of phones had taken place when Shukla headed the Maharashtra intelligence department.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: May 3, 2021 6:56:45 pm
Mumbai Police summons IPS officer Rashmi Shukla tomorrowShukla is currently ADG Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and posted at Hyderabad. (File Photo)

Senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla has moved the Bombay High Court, seeking directions for no coercive action by the Mumbai Police in the alleged illegal phone tapping case registered by the cyber crime cell at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

The case pertains to alleged leaking of sensitive documents related to police postings. While the FIR is registered against ‘unidentified persons,’ Shukla apprehended coercive steps by the police in view of summons issued to her to remain present for questioning, and sought an urgent hearing.

“The petitioner, currently an Additional Director General of Police, South Zone, CRPF, Hyderabad, is one of the senior most officers of 1988 cadre in police service for more than 30 years,” Shukla’s counsel said.

“The approach of the respondent state is to arm-twist the petitioner by bogus and frivolous case,” Shukla, who filed a criminal writ petition through advocate Sameer Nangre, said.

“The petitioner has exposed the nexus between ministers and politicians and other gross corruption involved in assigning posting to police officers,” Shukla’s counsel said. He added, “This reveals courage and integrity of the petitioner in performing her official duties and making her best endeavours to expose and eliminate the corruption by bringing the guilty to books,” Nangre submitted.

“Instead of applauding and appreciating the work of the petitioner, the government authorities are involved in framing the petitioner in a false criminal case,” Shukla claimed.

An FIR was registered under the Official Secrets Act against unidentified persons for allegedly tapping phones illegally and leaking certain confidential documents, on the complaint filed by the State Intelligence Department.

The alleged tapping of phones had taken place when Shukla headed the Maharashtra intelligence department.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had cited a letter purportedly written by Shukla to the then Director General of Police about alleged corruption in police transfers.

The letter also had details of intercepted calls, leading to an uproar, with leaders of the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition alleging that Shukla tapped phones without permission.

Before registration of the FIR, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte had alleged in a report submitted to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that it appears that Shukla herself had leaked the confidential documents.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale is likely to hear Shukla’s plea on Tuesday, May 4.

Shukla, currently posted in Hyderabad, has also approached the Telangana High Court, seeking that the summons issued to her by Mumbai Police in connection with the case be declared illegal and arbitrary.

Shukla has further sought directions from Telangana HC to the Investigating Officer of the case to not harass her vis a vis the two summons issued to her. The Telangana High Court is likely to hear her plea on May 6.

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