July 28, 2021 11:25:45 pm
Seeking that the FIR in the alleged illegal phone-tapping case registered against her by the Mumbai Police be quashed, senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla submitted Wednesday before the Bombay High Court that the “arbitrary” case had been lodged to “suppress the crime and not to investigate and prosecute offenders” who were indulging in corrupt practices in postings of the police officers.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing Shukla, submitted before the court that his client was being made a “scapegoat” and “harassed” through the probe for being “honest” and unearthing corruption involved in postings and transfer of senior police officers.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar was hearing a plea by Shukla against the FIR lodged under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, at the BKC cyber police station against unidentified persons for allegedly tapping phones 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 SID. Shukla is currently serving as additional director general of the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) South Zone and is posted in Hyderabad.
Jethmalani said the then Maharashtra director general of police (DGP) had asked Shukla to carry out surveillance and she was merely following his directives and had taken requisite permission from then state additional chief secretary Sitaram Kunte as per the Indian Telegraph Act.
“The numbers belonged to a few brokers of certain politicians involved in corruption and demanding massive monetary compensation for plum postings and transfers. They were allegedly taking instructions from top government officials and had political connections,” Jethmalani submitted.
“Interception, with due permissions to prevent crime, is a valid ground for interception of wireless messages,” he said and sought that FIR against Shukla be quashed. The plea also sought that the probe is transferred to the CBI.
The court adjourned the hearing on Shukla’s plea to August 5 after the state assured the HC that no coercive steps, including arrest, will be taken against her till August 6.
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