April 27, 2021 7:43:50 pm
IPS officer Rashmi Shukla, who was summoned by Mumbai cyber police in connection with a case registered under the Officials Secrets Act against unknown persons for alleged illegal tapping of phones and leaking of findings of official secret documents, on Tuesday wrote to the Mumbai Police expressing her inability to appear before the cyber police station on Wednesday.
Shukla, who is currently ADG Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) posted in Hyderabad, cited the Covid pandemic and the serious nature of her responsibilities for not being able to travel to Mumbai. She instead asked the cyber police to send her a questionnaire that she could answer and send back.
A team from the Mumbai Police issued summons to Shukla in Hyderabad on Monday, asking her to appear before the BKC cyber police at 11 am on Wednesday. An FIR was registered against unknown persons after call intercepts of IPS officers and other sensitive details purportedly recorded by Shukla when she was the State Intelligence Department (SID) chief was leaked to former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis had made these details public in March and alleged that the intercepts showed the corruption former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh indulged in while effecting police transfers. Eventually, the Mumbai cyber police had registered an FIR under sections of the Official Secrets Act as the documents were confidential and sensitive in nature.
In an e-mail to the cyber police on Tuesday, Shukla, a 1988-batch officer, expressed her inability to make it to Mumbai. Sources said that Shukla cited “the prevailing situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic”, the “serious nature of her responsibilities” and “the wide jurisdiction of the Southern Zone” for not being able to make it to Mumbai on Wednesday.
Shukla said that in order to assist and cooperate with the probe and avoid any delay, she could provide answers to all the queries if a questionnaire was sent to her. She added that she would answer all the questions and send the same at the earliest.
Sources in the Mumbai Police said that senior officers will decide if the request is to be accepted or her physical presence would be required.
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