Mumbai: Home Dept found ‘no substance’ in Shukla’s phone tapping report

The Maharashtra Home Departments’ documents assessed by the Free Press Journal has a different story to tell on the report by former additional DGP (intelligence) Rashmi Shukla on phone tapping to find out alleged racket in police transfers. Contrary to leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis’ allegations that the state home department did not act on the report, the documents clearly show that the report was analysed in the presence of senior police officers and transcript was also examined. Further, the documents also revealed that Shukla had not taken a formal approval from the additional chief secretary (Home) before undertaking the phone tapping.

“However, it was ultimately found that in the transcript, two unknown persons were speaking about transfers and how it can be done. They were discussing in vague terms the modus operandi of such transfers. Apart from those two unknown persons there was no involvement of any politician or senior government and police officers in these conversations. Therefore, the home department sought Shukla’s explanation. As her explanation was not substantiated by solid evidence, the home department decided not to initiate any action in her report. The transfers are done as per the recommendations of the Establishment Board and as mentioned in the transcript 80% of them never happened,” said senior home department officer.

Further, the officer said, “At whose behest Shukla went ahead and tapped phones? The transcript has nothing substantial to prove that there was a racket involved in transfers of senior IPS as well as non IPS officers.”

Shukla in a covering letter of her report said, “It has been discovered that the “brokers” are in close contact and embroiled in these negotiations with several influential people. The police officers ranging from inspectors to several high ranking IPS officers in contact with such undesirable individuals.”

She had recommended that it should be brought to the Chief Minister’s notice as this casts sincere aspersions against the credibility and functioning of the government. It will erode public faith and trust in the administrative machinery. But another home department officer said the purported telephonic conversation naming police officers may not be enough to take action.

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