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HomeHighlights IndiaIPS Officer Rashmi Shukla misled home dept to benefit oppn parties: Chargesheet

IPS Officer Rashmi Shukla misled home dept to benefit oppn parties: Chargesheet



IPS Officer Rashmi Shukla illegally tapped the phones of MVA leaders during her tenure at the State Intelligence Department to give political benefits to the opposition parties, the Colaba police have said in a 700-page charge sheet filed in the phone tapping case of Sanjay Raut and Eknath Khadse. The charge sheet, filed on Tuesday, has statements of 20 witnesses including senior police officers and government officials.

The charge sheet includes the statement of an intelligence officer who worked with Shukla. The officer claimed he had mentioned to Shukla, the then commissioner of the SID, that the numbers given to him for tapping belonged to NCP leader Eknath Khadse and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, and that he could not tap phones of political leaders. As per his statement, Shukla told him, “Main commissioner hoon, bolti hoon toh laga surveillance par, [section] 419 [of the Telegraph Act] ke power se laga do.”

Misled home dept

The charge sheet also mentioned that Shukla had gotten the permission for surveillance from the then additional chief secretary of the home department by misleading him. She sought permission to tap the phones of one S Rahate and one Khadasne saying that the two were involved in antisocial activities. The investigation team has found that the S Rahate was Raut while Khadasne was Khadse.

Sanjay Raut

The police also recorded the statement of the then ACS under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the matter, according to which the names of political leaders never came up. The statement read, “Permission was sought for different names who were believed to have been involved in antisocial activities.” 

The motive

As per the charge sheet, Shukla allegedly tapped Khadse’s phone for 60 days and Raut’s phone for 14 days in 2019 after the Sena severed ties with the BJP and joined hands with the Congress and NCP. During the formation of the coalition, Raut and Khadse played important roles and held important discussions over call, and it is for this that their calls were tapped to benefit others. The charge sheet, however, did not name any political parties. 

IPS officer Rashmi Shukla leaves the Colaba police station after registering her statement on March 15

An SID officer also said that Shukla used to listen to the recordings every night. According to Raut’s statement, he came to know about the tapping from someone else but it did not scare him.

Shukla’s side

Shukla, who got relief from the high court in the case, has recorded her statement before the Colaba police  and claimed that the phone-tapping was done in national interest and wasn’t politically motivated. She also claimed that she didn’t remember who the numbers belonged to as three years have passed since then.

Raut slams Shukla

While the charge sheet has not mentioned who benefitted from the tapping, Raut while speaking to mid-day claimed that it was done at the behest of Devendra Fadanvis and his party. “Of course it was done at the behest of Devendra Fadanvis and his party. In fact, the officer (Shukla) was calling independent MLAs to support the BJP.

NCP leader Eknath Khadse

This is a serious threat to the parliamentary democracy where an IPS officer is conniving with a political party to damage another party,” he said. Raut also raised questions over Shukla getting protection from the court despite such strong evidence against her. 

Background

The FIR against Shukla in the case was registered in March this year after Sanjay Pandey took charge as city police commissioner, based on a complaint by Special Branch Additional Commissioner Rajiv Jain who alleged Shukla tapped Raut and Khadse’s phones. A similar FIR was also registered against Shukla by the Pune police for alleged tapping of Congress’s Nana Patole’s phone.



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