Mumbai: After magistrate says no, CBI moves sessions court for articles seized in phone tapping case

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Thursday, May 27, 2021, 10:12 PM IST
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After a city magistrate court mid-this month rejected the plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a direction to the state to hand over articles seized by its cyber cell in the phone tapping case, the agency has knocked the doors of a sessions court with the same plea.

In the present plea filed on Thursday, the CBI has once again sought custody of documents and pendrives seized by the state’s cyber cell in its probe in connection with the phone tapping during the tenure of former Commissioner of State Intelligence Rashmi Shukla and a ‘leaked’ report into a politician - police nexus in transfers and postings.

The agency has named former minister Anil Deshmukh and unknown others as the respondents in the plea as it is probing the corruption allegations by former city police chief Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh pursuant to a Bombay HC order. Appearing for the state’s cyber cell, Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar told the court that the Bombay HC is hearing a writ petition in which similar issues are being heard and that it will next hear it on 8 June. The sessions court then adjourned the matter to 11 June.

Among documents the agency wants is a letter or report by former commissioner of state intelligence Rashmi Shukla in which she had communicated to her superiors on political interference and corruption in police transfers and postings.

The HC had adjourned on Wednesday a writ petition by the state government for the CBI to drop investigations on two aspects from the FIR against Deshmukh - one being that Deshmukh was aware of the reinstatement of Vaze, now accused in the Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case and another, that he exercised political influence in police postings and transfers. The CBI had submitted before the HC on Wednesday that till 9 June it will not press for the custody of the report by Shukla.

The state cyber police had registered an FIR 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.

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