Phone-tapping: Devendra Fandavis says fact-finding report full of fallacies

Jitendra Awhad had alleged that Shukla, then Commissioner of Intelligence, sought permission for intercepting the calls of certain persons, but actually the calls of some other persons were tapped.

Published: 26th March 2021 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2021 04:19 PM   |  A+A-

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. (File photo| PTI)


MUMBAI: BJP leader Devendra Fandavis on Friday alleged that the fact-finding report submitted to the Maharashtra government by the state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte over the phone-tapping allegations is full of fallacies.

Kunte had been asked to submit the report into the alleged police transfer racket by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the wake of Fadnavis's allegations that the state government suppressed IPS officer Rashmi Shukla's letter or report, based on phone intercepts, on a "transfer scam".

Kunte's report said, "Despite stamping the letter as TOP SECRET, Rashmi Shukla seems to have leaked the letter, which is very serious matter. If it is proved, she will be liable for strictest action against her."

Talking about it, Fadnavis said on Friday, "The Indian Telegraph Act quoted in the report is presented to public in a manner convenient to the government. The report in itself is full of fallacies. Although there are sufficient provisions to tap the phone calls, the government is not ready to accept it."

"The then DGP Subodh Jaiswal had recommended a CID probe (into the alleged transfer scam) based on the conversations among police officials and other persons involved in it. Then why no action was taken on his recommendations?" he asked.

The Act empowers the official to intercept calls to avoid any possible offence that could happen, he said, adding that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the Maharashtra police has all the rights to carry out phone-tapping.

When asked about the leaking of 'top secret' report, the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly said, "I had only shared a two-page letter (related to Shukla's letter), whereas it was state minister Nawab Malik who leaked some of its pages. I was even contacted by some journalists after they received the report from Malik."

If any action has to be taken, it should be against Malik, he added.

"I think state ministers Malik or Jitendra Awhad had prepared the report and chief secretary Kunte must have signed it. I have enough proof with me. If there is a legal action, then I will produce it before the court," he claimed.

Out of all the names mentioned by Malik citing the list, 12 officials have received the postings as per their request, he claimed.

Awhad had on Wednesday alleged that Shukla, then Commissioner of Intelligence, sought permission for intercepting the calls of certain persons, but actually the calls of some other persons were tapped.


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