Senior Maharashtra IPS officer Rashmi Shukla has approached the Hyderabad High Court seeking that the summons issued to her by Mumbai Police — in connection with alleged leaking of sensitive documents related to police postings — be declared illegal and arbitrary.
Shukla has further sought directions to the Investigating Officer of the case to not harass her vis a vis the two summons issued to her.
Shukla is currently posted in Hyderabad as ADG CRPF and hence approached the High Court there. The matter has been posted for hearing on May 6.
As per the second summons issued to her, she was to produce herself before the cyber police station on Monday, which is not likely to happen now.
In the writ petition filed on April 29 seeking a stay on the summons, respondents include the Union of India, State of Maharashtra, Government of Maharashtra, DGP, Mumbai Police Commissioner and the ACP cyber, who is investigating the case.
The prayer before the court is “to issue any writ order or direction more particularly one in the nature of writ of mandamus declaring the action of the 6th respondent (ACP) to issue summons dated April 26 and 28 as illegal arbitrary and violative of Article 14, 21 and 300A Constitution of India and consequently to direct the 6th respondent to not harass the petitioner in connection with summons dated 26th April and 28th April 2021…”
A team from Mumbai Police issued summons to Shukla in Hyderabad last Monday asking her to appear before the BKC cyber police on Wednesday 11 am. An FIR was registered against unknown persons after call intercepts of IPS officers and other sensitive details purportedly recorded by Shukla when she was the State Intelligence Department (SID) chief was leaked to former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis had made these details public in March and alleged that the intercepts showed the corruption former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh indulged in while effecting police transfers. Eventually, the Mumbai cyber police had registered an FIR under sections of the Official Secrets Act as the documents were confidential and sensitive in nature.
In an e-mail sent to the cyber police, Shukla, a 1988-batch officer, expressed her inability to make it to Mumbai, citing Covid and the serious nature of her responsibilities. She instead asked the police to send her a questionnaire, and said she would reply to it.
The Mumbai Police did not agree to this and issued a second summons, asking her to appear before the cyber police on May 3. It was following the second summons, issued on April 28, that Shukla approached the Hyderabad High Court. An official said that whether Shukla appears before the Mumbai Police will now depend on what the HC decides.
Meanwhile, state DGP Sanjay Pandey wrote to the Maharashtra government seeking to recuse himself from the two enquiries he was conducting against IPS officer Param Bir Singh. Pandey was asked to probe a Home Department enquiry and allegations of corruption against Singh by an inspector. However, after Singh wrote to the CBI alleging that Pandey was “pressuring” him to withdraw a letter he had written against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Pandey decided to recuse himself to prevent allegations of a biased enquiry. It was based on this letter by Singh that the CBI registered an FIR against Deshmukh.