FPJ Legal: Court rejects CBI plea for digital devices seized in phone tapping case

A magistrate court on Thursday rejected the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) application seeking a direction to the state government to hand over documents and digital devices seized by the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police as part of the latter’s probe in connection with the phone tapping by former Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla and a ‘leaked’ report into a politician - police nexus in transfers and postings.

The agency had sought before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Esplanade, a handover of pen drives and computers among other digital devices seized by the state police. It did so under Sec 91 of the CrPC which empowers a court to direct production of a document or thing if it is required for any probe or trial.

Appearing for the police’s cyber cell, Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar had argued against the handing over of these. He said they are articles seized in a cyber crime offence and have been sent to the Forensic Science Lab, Kalina and hence that they cannot be called back as they will hamper a crucial part of the probe.

He also argued that as per the HC order the CBI is only supposed to probe the allegations made by former city police chief Param Bir Singh in his letter to the CM and the complaint by petitioner Jaishri Patil and that these do not include the malpractices in transfers. He also pointed out that the CBI has not got any consent from the state government for the probe into the latter.

An FIR had been registered by the BKC cyber police station against unknown persons under the Official Secrets Act for alleged illegal phone tapping and leaking certain confidential documents in connection with corruption in police transfers. The CBI is probing the corruption allegations made by Singh as per a Bombay High Court order.

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