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Phone-tapping case FIR: IPS Shukla seeks protection from Bombay HC

Monday - May 3, 2021 7:03 pm , Category : INDIA
Mumbai, May 3 (IANS) In a fresh development in the sensational phone-tapping case, senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla on Monday moved the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against her by the Mumbai Police, staying any coercive action or alternatively transferring the case to the CBI.
A former Commissioner of State Intelligence Department (SID), Shukla is presently the Additional Director-General of CRPF (South Zone), based in Hyderabad.
Her lawyer Sameer Nangre sought an urgent hearing on the matter on Tuesday (May 4), contending that the 1988 batch IPS officer is apprehending arrest, and sought directions to the Mumbai Police to refrain from taking any coercive action against Shukla.
Terming the police case as 'bogus' and 'frivolous', Shukla's plea said that the state is trying to arm-twist the petitioner.
On March 26, following a complaint by the SID, the Mumbai Police had lodged an FIR at the BKC Cyber Police Station against unknown persons for alleged illegal phone tapping and invoked sections under the Official Secrets Act, Information Technology Act and Indian Telegraph Act.
The alleged phone-tapping incidents had taken place during Shukla's tenure as the SID chief last year and the matter came out after BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis revealed a letter written by Shukla to the then Director-General of Police in August 2020, about alleged corrupt practices in police transfers and promotions.
Following a political uproar, several leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra accused Shukla of tapping phones unauthorisedly, and subsequently Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte submitted a report on the matter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 25.
Among other things, Kunte's detailed report accused Shukla of misusing her official position and overstepping her brief. When confronted, she admitted her mistake and even apologised, citing personal and family issues, after which the state government took a sympathetic view and did not take any action.
After the FIR was registered, the Mumbai Police served two summons to Shukla on April 26 and April 28, seeking her presence to record her statement, but she failed to appearbefore the police.
In her plea to the court on Monday, Shukla said she had exposed the alleged nexus between ministers and politicians in the matter of gross corruption pertaining to the police department, but instead of appreciating her work, the government authorities were trying to frame her in a false criminal case.

--IANS qn/arm

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