Mumbai: In a major relief for Indian Police Service officer Rashmi Shukla, the Bombay High Court, on Friday, quashed two FIRs filed against her in Mumbai and Pune in cases related to the alleged illegal tapping of phones of politicians.
A division bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and Sharmila Deshmukh quashed the FIRs while hearing two separate petitions filed by Shukla, who is presently serving as an additional director-general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Hyderabad, seeking the quashing of the cases.
Background of the case
The FIR filed by Colaba police station relates to the alleged tapping of the phones of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse.
The other FIR was filed by the Pune city police related to the alleged tapping of the phone of State Congress president Nana Patole during the tenure of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.
Advocate General Birendra Saraf informed the Court that the Maharashtra government has refused to grant permission to the Mumbai police to prosecute Shukla under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He stated that the police did not intend to challenge the rejection of the sanction.
No protest petition against closure report
Furthermore, the Pune Police had already filed a closure report in January 2023. No protest petition had been filed by the complainant, added Saraf.
The bench, considering the submissions, deemed it fit to quash the FIRs.
Shukla filed the petition through advocate Sameer Nangre seeking the quashing of the FIR registered against her under Section 166 (public servant obtaining valuable consideration in a business transacted as a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act.
On March 4, the HC granted ad-interim relief of no coercive action against Shukla in the Pune FIR, and similar relief was granted in respect of the Mumbai FIR on March 11. The HC extended the relief on several occasions.
Shukla has also filed a discharge application before the Pune court after the police filed its closure report in the Pune FIR. Both the closure report application and the discharge application are pending before the Pune court.