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Maharashtra govt transfers probe into phone tapping case to CBI

The govt had earlier recorded statement of Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in this case

Our Bureau, PTI Mumbai Published 23.07.22, 02:43 PM
Devendra Fadnavis

Devendra Fadnavis File picture

The Maharashtra government has directed the state police to transfer to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into two cases, including an alleged phone tapping case in which the statement of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was earlier recorded, an official said.

The second case involves Girish Mahajan, another BJP leader and former state minister, who faces the charge of extortion and criminal intimidation, he said.


"The state government has issued an order for the transfer of probe in these two cases, but the Mumbai police is yet to get it," the official said.

IPS officer Rashmi Shukla is accused of tapping the phones of political leaders and senior officials illegally when she was chief of the State Intelligence Department (SID) in 2019.

Mumbai police had in 2021 registered the first information report (FIR) under sections of the Official Secrets Act at the BKC Cyber police station against unidentified persons for alleged phone tapping of political leaders and senior officials, and leaking of confidential documents. A complaint about it was lodged by the SID.

Fadnavis, who was the chief minister between 2014 and 2019, had cited a letter purportedly written by Shukla to the then Maharashtra Director General of Police about alleged corruption in transfers in the police department. The letter also had details of intercepted phone calls, which led to an uproar with leaders of the then Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition, who alleged that the phones without permission.

Prior to that, the then Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte had alleged in his inquiry report that Shukla had leaked the confidential report.

"The cyber police team had recorded the statement of Shukla in this case," he said, adding that the statement of Fadnavis was also recorded in March this year.

The case was recently transferred to the Colaba police station in south Mumbai for further investigation with the orders of the then Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey.

Now, after the new government led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was formed in the state last month, it has issued orders to transfer the probe to the CBI, the official said.

The case against Girish Mahajan was registered in Jalgaon district in north Maharashtra. Along with Mahajan, 28 others are also named in the FIR, the official said.

"They are accused of extorting and threatening an office-bearer of a cooperative educational institute in Jalgaon. The case was later transferred to Kothrud police station in Pune for probe," he added.

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