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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Nana Patole phone tapping case: HC extends protection from arrest to senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in Pune FIR till July 6

Rashmi Shukla had filed a plea earlier this year through advocate Sameer Nangre, which claimed the FIR was lodged arbitrarily with “political vendetta” and that she was “falsely implicated”.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
June 22, 2022 1:59:22 pm
Rashmi Shukla, Rashmi Shukla protection from arrest, Bombay High court, Nana Patole, Mumbai news, Indian expressRashmi Shukla's interim protection from arrest has been extended till July 6. (File)

The Bombay High Court Wednesday extended the interim protection from arrest till July 6 to senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in her plea seeking to quash an FIR lodged against her in Pune. The FIR filed at Pune’s Bund Garden police station is in connection with the alleged illegal phone tapping of state Congress president Nana Patole during the tenure of the previous BJP-led government in Maharashtra.

Rashmi Shukla had filed a plea earlier this year through advocate Sameer Nangre, which claimed the FIR was lodged arbitrarily with “political vendetta” and that she was “falsely implicated”.

Earlier, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani representing Shukla had said that she is being targeted by the ruling alliance in Maharashtra, as she had submitted a report disclosing the involvement of various political leaders in transfers and postings of police officers in Maharashtra. Jethmalani said that she should be granted interim protection from arrest pending a hearing in the plea.

The Bombay High Court had granted interim protection from coercive action to Shukla on March 4, which was continued from time to time on her assurance of cooperating with the probe.

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Last year, Patole had alleged that his phone was tapped during 2016-2017 on the pretext that it belonged to one Amjad Khan involved in “narcotics smuggling”. Patole had also alleged that the phones of Union minister Roasaheb Danve’s personal assistant, then BJP MP Sanjay Kakade, and other elected representatives were also tapped.

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had then announced that the government will probe the allegations made by Nana Patole. A three-member committee headed by the director general of police Sanjay Pandey was formed to conduct an inquiry into this matter. The other members of the committee included the state intelligence department commissioner and the additional commissioner of the special branch.

As per Pune police, the three-member committee had conducted an inquiry to ascertain whether the illegal phone tapping of elected representatives was done with wrong political motives between 2015 and 2019. The police said that the committee had stated in its report that Rashmi Shukla illegally tapped phones at the time when she was the commissioner of Pune City police between March 2016 and July 2018.

After being transferred from Pune in July 2018, Rashmi Shukla headed the Maharashtra State Intelligence Department (SID). Shukla is currently posted in Hyderabad as the Additional Director General of the CRPF (South Zone).

The Bombay High Court has earlier granted interim protection from arrest to Rashmi Shukla in another plea against the FIR lodged against her by Colaba police for alleged tapping of phone calls of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and NCP leader Eknath Khadse.

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