Phone tapping: IPS officer Rashmi Shukla moves Bombay HC against FIR


Senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla’s advocate sought an urgent hearing of the plea, saying the petitioner was apprehending arrest in the case.

Senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla moved the Bombay High Court on May 3, seeking no coercive action against her in connection with an FIR registered by Mumbai police in a case of illegal phone tapping and alleged leaking of sensitive documents related to police postings.

Ms. Shukla’s advocate Sameer Nangre sought an urgent hearing of the plea, saying the petitioner, a senior IPS officer of 1988 cadre, was apprehending arrest in the case.

Mr. Nangre also sought a direction to the police to not take any coercive action against Ms. Shukla.

“The approach of the State is to arm-twist the petitioner by a bogus and frivolous case,” the plea alleged.

Ms. Shukla is currently serving as Additional Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) South Zone and is posted in Hyderabad.

An FIR was registered under the Official Secrets Act at the BKC cyber police station in Mumbai against unidentified persons for allegedly tapping phones illegally and leaking certain confidential documents on the complaint filed by the Maharashtra Intelligence Department.

The alleged tapping of phones had taken place when Ms. Shukla headed the state intelligence department.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had cited a letter purportedly written by Ms. Shukla to the then Director General of Police about alleged corruption in police transfers.

The letter also had details of intercepted calls, leading to an uproar with leaders of the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition alleging that Ms. Shukla tapped phones without permission.

Before registration of the FIR, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte had alleged in a report submitted to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that it appears that Ms. Shukla herself had leaked the confidential report (to Fadnavis).

Last month, the police issued two summons (on April 26 and April 28) to Ms. Shukla, asking her to appear before the BKC cyber department in Mumbai for recording her statement.

However, Ms. Shukla had skipped the summons.

On May 3, her advocate filed an application before the HC’s registrar, seeking an urgent hearing of the petition on May 4 before a division bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale.

“The petitioner [Shukla] begs to approach the court for urgent reliefs of order of no coercive action by the police in the concerned FIR registered by the Cyber Crime Department, Mumbai,” the application said.

It said Ms. Shukla exposed the alleged nexus between Ministers and politicians and other gross corruption involved in assigning postings to police officers.

“This reveals the courage and integrity of the petitioner in performing her official duties and making her best endeavours to expose and eliminate corruption by bringing the guilty to book,” the application said.

Instead of applauding and appreciating the work of the petitioner, the “government authorities are involved in framing the petitioner in a false criminal case”, it alleged.

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