Mumbai Police summons ex-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis in phone tapping case

Mumbai: 

Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said he had received a notice in which the Mumbai Police has summoned him on March 13 (Sunday) in connection with a phone tapping case.

Fadnavis slammed the Maharashtra government alleging that it had been brushing away the case for the past six months. Addressing a press conference here today, Fadnavis said, “Mumbai Police has sent me a notice under Sec 160 CrPC, asking me to appear before them at BKC Cyber Police Station at 11 am tomorrow (Sunday). I will go there and record my statement.”

“As a Leader of Opposition, I have the privilege to not reveal where I got the information from but I was Home Minister once and I understand my responsibility. If an offence was falsely registered and if the police wants some help, I will respond. So, I will go to the Police Station tomorrow,” said Devendra Fadnavis.

The BJP leader alleged that the state government was attempting to protect scamsters involved in the case.

“Had the government caught the scamsters and those who are being probed by CBI on time and not brushed the matter under the carpet for six months, then I need not have exposed it. The State Government wants to protect them and somebody who has exposed this is being called to the police station,” he said.

On February 26, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil claimed that former Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla had tapped phones of political leaders like Nana Patole, Bachchu Kadu, Sanjay Kakade and Ashish Deshmukh.

“FIR registered against former Pune CP Rashmi Shukla on the basis of inquiry report. During her tenure, she tapped phones of some political leaders on the pretext that the politicians were linked with the drugs business,” said Patil.

“She falsely took the permission which is against the Indian Telegraph Act. She tapped phones of leaders like Nana Patole, Bachchu Kadu, Sanjay Kakade and Ashish Deshmukh,” added the Maharashtra Home Minister.

Pune Police on Saturday registered an FIR against Rashmi Shukla in the Maharashtra phone tapping case. The case was registered under section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act.

In July last year, the Maharashtra government had constituted a three-member high-level committee headed by the then Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey to investigate the phone tapping cases for the period of five years from 2015 to 2019.

The high-level committee was tasked to find out whether the phones of various political leaders were tapped illegally for undesirable political or any other purpose.

The committee was asked to submit a detailed report of the probe and fix the responsibility of the person (if any) responsible for such cases.

The committee has now submitted the report to the government. According to the report, it is found that the phone tapping was done during the tenure of then Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla.

Accordingly, an FIR has been filed by Pune city police against her under section 26 of the Indian Telegraph act.

There were allegations of phone tapping levelled by several MLAs including Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole. The controversy over phone tapping had erupted in 2020 after audio clips purportedly having a telephonic conversation between Union minister Gajendra Singh and Congress leaders surfaced.

(ANI)

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