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Chief Secretary Can't Disown His Role And Make Me A Scapegoat In Phone Tapping Report : Rashmi Shukla IPS To Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
21 Aug 2021 5:21 AM GMT
Chief Secretary Cant Disown His Role And Make Me A Scapegoat In Phone Tapping Report : Rashmi Shukla IPS To Bombay High Court
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The court was hearing Shukla's quashing petition against a FIR filed by the Mumbai Police against unnamed persons for an alleged leak of her phone tap report.

Senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla's counsel accused the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Sitaram Kunte of permitting phone interceptions regarding the political nexus in police transfers and then "passing the buck" to her. Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said Shukla is 'proud' of her report that reveals the rut in police postings in the State and hasn't 'apologised' to anyone...

Senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla's counsel accused the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Sitaram Kunte of permitting phone interceptions regarding the political nexus in police transfers and then "passing the buck" to her.

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said Shukla is 'proud' of her report that reveals the rut in police postings in the State and hasn't 'apologised' to anyone in the government.

Arguing her quashing petition, before a bench of Justices SS Shinde and Justice NJ Jamadar, he said Shukla was willing to take a lie detector test and hoped Kunte would be willing to do so as well.

Jethmalani contended that Shukla, heading the State Intelligence Department back then, was repeatedly granted sanctions to intercept the calls between brokers and politicians by Kunte between July 17-July 29, 2020 when he was the Additional Chief Secretary Home.

"And most of all, please explain what were you repeatedly doing when you sanctioned every phone interception? Where was your application of mind? You can't pass the buck to anyone else. You were the final deciding authority…."

"It's Mr Kunte, he cannot disown his role and make me a scapegoat in this", Jethmalani said.

The court was hearing Shukla's quashing petition against a March 26, 2021 FIR filed by the Mumbai Police against unnamed persons for an alleged leak of her phone tap report. The FIR invoked the Indian Telegraph Act, Information Technology Act and Official Secrets Act, 1923.

Jethmalani questioned the basis of Kunte's report dated March 25, 2021, in which he states that Shukla misled him, and only she could have leaked the report.

The State registered the FIR days after Chief Minister Fadnavis revealed details on the "confidential" report.

A week after submitting the report to the then Director General of Police on August 25, 2020, Shukla was "illegally" transferred from the State Intelligence Department and made the Director-General Civil Defense. This post did not exist before her transfer, Jethmalani claimed. "So this is the treatment meted out to one of the most upright officers."

The senior counsel contended that the FIR is registered so that the State may not have to give Shukla's original report to the CBI under the garb of an ongoing investigation.

On the State's inaction on the report, Jethmalani argued that if Shukla's interceptions were that innocuous and not "worth the paper they are printed on" then there was no need for the "witch hunt" against her.

The case will be heard today.

Case Title : [Rashmi Shukla v. State of Maharashtra]
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