scorecardresearch
Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022
Premium

Fadnavis questioned in phone tapping case: ‘Felt like being made an accused’

A team from BKC cyber cell police headed by Deputy Commissioner of police Hemraj Singh Rajput reached Fadnavis's bungalow, Sagar, in south Mumbai around 12 noon for questioning.

A police team comes out of the residence of BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis after recording his statement. (Ganesh Shirsekar)

Mumbai crime branch on Sunday recorded the statement of Opposition leader and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis in a case pertaining to alleged phone-tapping carried out by the State Intelligence Department (SID). Even as Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said that Fadnavis’s statement was being recorded as a witness, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader refuted the claims and said that the police questioning, which lasted over two hours, felt like he was being made an accused in the case.

🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access the best Election reporting and analysis 🗞️

A team from BKC cyber cell police headed by Deputy Commissioner of police Hemraj Singh Rajput reached Fadnavis’s bungalow, Sagar, in south Mumbai around 12 noon for questioning.

Even as Fadnavis was being questioned inside his house, Patil addressed a press conference and said that a case was registered under Official Secrets Act and Indian Telegraph Act on March 26, 2021 after sensitive information and documents were allegedly leaked from the SID. The case was registered against five unidentified persons.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key- December 6, 2022: Why you should read ‘Central Asia Region’ or ...Premium
What is OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, why it has become a viral sensationPremium
How a private firm came to be at the centre of Bengaluru data theft casePremium
Why the G7’s oil price cap is unlikely to impact RussiaPremium

“The investigating agency has, so far, recorded statements of 24 witnesses and in order to conclude the investigation, it is necessary to record statements of all the people affiliated with the case. After his revelations in the assembly, the investigators had sent six notices to Fadnavis,” said Patil. “These notices are not summons but the authorities want to understand how such sensitive information and documents went out of SID,” Patil added.

The home minister further said that initially, Fadnavis was not asked to remain present before the police and was instead sent a list of questions. But as Fadnavis did not respond to most questions, the investigators decided to go to his residence on Sunday and record his statement.

“There was no vindictiveness behind questioning Fadnavis. Mumbai police had sent him six notices and he has only responded to one of them, claiming that he will be sharing the details of the questionnaire. However, as he did not (share the details), the investigators went to his house to seek details.”

Advertisement

Minutes after the investigating team stepped out of his residence around 2.20pm, Fadnavis said that there was a big difference between the list of questionnaire that was sent to him earlier by the agency and the questions that were asked on Sunday.

“My statement was not recorded in the manner in which the statement of a witness is taken but it looks like I am being made an accused or a co-accused in the case,” said Fadnavis.

The Opposition leader further claimed that he has responded to every question asked by the police.

Advertisement

“I also said that I won’t comment on whether the Official Secrets Act will be applicable in my case but I should be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act because I have brought the mega transfer scam to light,” said Fadnavis.

He further added that as the documents contained the names of IPS officers, he gave them to the competent authority which in this case is the Union Home Affairs Secretary.

“I did not give the pen drive or the transcription of the whole matter and leak the information in the public domain. It was minister Nawab Malik who gave out the information to the press. So, they should inquire Malik instead,” Fadnavis said, adding he would continue “exposing” the current state government.

First published on: 13-03-2022 at 07:34:25 pm
Next Story

Jamuna Road to MM Agarwal Marg: North MCD councillor proposes name change

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close