The Maharashtra government has issued an order directing the state police to transfer the investigation of a case concerning sensitive call recordings being leaked from the State Intelligence Department (SID). The Mumbai Police had recorded the statement of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while probing the case.
Another case in which BJP leader Girish Mahajan and 28 others were booked for extortion and criminal conspiracy has also been transferred to the CBI.
The Mumbai Police had registered an FIR in March 2021 against unknown persons under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), days after then leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had alleged there was hectic lobbying by IPS officers for plum postings in exchange for money with politicians in then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Fadnavis had said that he has 6.3 GB worth of data of call records, obtained from phone tapping allegedly conducted by the then SID commissioner Rashmi Shukla, in which names of several key police officers were discussed.
The MVA government had then asked then additional chief secretary (Home) Sitaram Kunte to inquire into the phone tapping and how the recordings were leaked. Subsequently, a case was registered by the Mumbai Police and the statements of Fadnavis and Shukla were recorded.
Sources in the DGP office on Friday confirmed to The Indian Express that the case was being handed over to the CBI.
Similarly, the investigation of another case in which BJP leader Girish Mahajan and 28 others were booked under extortion and criminal conspiracy has also been transferred to the CBI.
The FIR was registered on a complaint filed by lawyer Vijay Patil, who is also one of the directors of the Jilha Maratha Vidyaprasarak Sahakari Samaaj – a cooperative educational institute in Jalgaon. The case was lodged at Nimbhora police station in Jalgaon in December 2020 and the investigation was handed over to Kothrud police station in Pune.
The alleged offence was committed over a period of time between January 2018 till the time of registration of the case.
According to the FIR, as part of the criminal conspiracy involving all the accused, Patil was threatened and asked to resign. Patil has alleged that during a visit to Pune in 2018, he was forcibly taken to a flat in Sadashiv Peth area, confined there and was asked for money. He was also threatened that he will be booked in false offences. Patil also made allegations of forgery by some of the suspects in order to gain control of the Jalgaon-based institute.