Mumbai: Cops record IPS Rashmi Shukla’s statement in phone tapping case
File Photo

A team from the Mumbai Cyber Police has recorded the statement of the Indian Police Service officer Rashmi Shukla in Hyderabad in connection with the phone tapping leak case. Shukla's statement was recorded over a span of two days in Hyderabad, sources informed on Monday.

"A probe team had visited Hyderabad a few days ago and had recorded the statement of officer Rashmi Shukla. Her statement was recorded on May 19 and May 20. In her statement she has explained her side. We will not be able to divulge much as the case pertains to Official Secrets Act," said a high ranking police officer on the condition of anonymity.

Following the order of the Bombay High Court allowing Mumbai Police to record the statement of Shukla in Hyderabad, Shukla had informed the Mumbai Police to visit Hyderabad after May 15 since a lockdown is currently imposed in the city.

Maharashtra Government had earlier informed the HC that it was willing to send a police team to Hyderabad to video record the statement of Shukla in connection with the FIR registered against unknown persons over ‘leaking’ her confidential report on alleged politician-police nexus on transfers and postings. The state further had told the court that it would not arrest Shukla before the next date of the hearing of the matter before the court.

The cyber department had on April 26, issued summons to Shukla, currently posed in Hyderabad, asking her to appear before the BKC Cyber department on April 28, in connection with the offence.

Replying to the summons a day after via email, Shukla had expressed her inability to appear before the department due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She had also requested that a list of questionnaire be sent to her to avoid any delay in the investigation.

The police on April 29, again issued summons to Shukla asking her to record her statement in Mumbai on May 3, after which she had first moved the Telangana HC and later Bombay HC against the summons issued to her, fearing arrest.

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

The FIR also invoked section 30 of the Indian Telegraph Act and section 43(B) of the Information Technology Act.

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

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had cited a letter purportedly written by Shukla to the then Director General of Police about alleged corruption in the 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 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 Shukla herself had leaked the confidential report (to Fadnavis).

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in