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IPS Rashmi Shukla tapped phones to benefit political party: Police

Published on Apr 29, 2022 12:02 AM IST

Shukla, who was then commissioner of the State Intelligence Department (SID), had allegedly tapped the phones of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse.

Mumbai police had on Tuesday submitted a 700-page charge sheet against the senior IPS officer. (Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)
ByVijay Kumar Yadav

Mumbai: There are substantial reasons to believe that the illegal phone tapping of political figures done by Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Rashmi Shukla, under the pretext that they are anti-social elements, was possibly done on instructions of a political leader or to benefit a political party, Colaba police has said in the charge sheet filed against her.

Shukla, who was then commissioner of the State Intelligence Department (SID), had allegedly tapped the phones of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse.

Mumbai police had on Tuesday submitted a 700-page charge sheet against the senior IPS officer.

She had illegally secured permission for surveillance from the home department by changing the name of Raut to S Rahate claiming that he is an anti-social element, it states.

Raut’s one phone number and two phone numbers of Khadse were tapped, the charge sheet said.

Shukla had allegedly changed the name of Khadse to Khadasne and mentioned the reason to tap his phone as ‘special reasons’, police sources said, adding that the revelation of these facts led the police to add sections of forgery in the case.

Besides heavily relying on the findings of a three-member committee that was constituted by the government to enquire into the illegal phone tapping between 2016 and 2019, the police investigation was also heavily reliant on the statements given by the officers and staff of the SID that tapped the phones of Raut and Khadse on the alleged illegal orders of Shukla.

Statements of a few SID personnel, who are now key witnesses, were recorded before the magistrate under the provisions of 164 CrPC.

“The Colaba police investigators have found that one of the SID officers of DySP rank was reluctant to illegally tap the phones of political figures, however, Shukla had ordered him to do so by saying that she is the commissioner (of SID). She also pressed her juniors to tap phones by invoking special powers given to her,” sources added.

The chargesheet mentioned that Raut’s one phone number was kept under surveillance twice. Once between November 7 and 14, 2019 and the second time between November 18 and 24, 2019. While Khadse’s two mobile numbers were under surveillance between June 21 and August 17, 2019.

The Colaba police has booked Shukla under section 165 (public servant obtaining any valuable thing, without consideration, from a person concerned in any proceeding or business transacted by such public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 26 (unlawful interception of telephonic calls and messages) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

The 57-year-old IPS officer, presently on central deputation and posted as additional director general of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Hyderabad, has two more FIRs registered against her – one registered by Mumbai cyber police for allegedly leaking her report on purported corruption in police transfers and postings in Maharashtra to former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, and another registered at Pune for allegedly tapping the phone of Congress leader Nana Patole.

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