Other States

HC allows IPS officer’s statement recording after Maharashtra assures no arrest

The Bombay High Court on Thursday allowed the Maharashtra government to question senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in Hyderabad after the State assured that she would not be arrested till the next date of hearing in the case of alleged leakage of information about police postings.

A division bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a petition filed by Ms Shukla saying she apprehends arrest and seeks no coercive action against her by the Cyber Crime Department in the case. The plea says, “The approach of the State is to arm-twist Ms. Shukla by bogus and frivolous case.”

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani for Ms. Shukla told the court that she had been charged under the Information Technology Act and the Officials Secrets Act. The court asked what the maximum sentence of the offences is.

Senior advocate Darius Khambata for the government replied three years.

Issuance of notice

The court said the State would have to send a notice under section 41 (when police may arrest without warrant) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). There was an apprehension that she would be arrested and unless the offences attracted a sentence of seven years, the State would have to send notice.

Mr. Khambata said, “we will follow whatever the law prescribes.”

The court said as Ms. Shukla was posted in another State, it will adjourn the matter after vacation.

To which Mr. Khambata said, “It is a fairly important investigation. If she can’t leave Hyderabad and if she is willing we can send a team of officers and video record her statement”.

Mr. Jethmalani agreed to cooperate. He said the State must make a statement that she would not be arrested.

After Mr. Khambata agreed, the court recorded that a team of police officers would be sent to Hyderabad, she would cooperate and her statement recorded under section 161 (examination of witnesses by police) of the CrPC and put it on video.

Mr. Jethmalani then sought a list of questions from the State to arrange for some documents if needed. However, Mr. Khambata said if she had nothing to hide, then why bother.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:55:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-allows-ips-officers-statement-recording-after-maharashtra-assures-no-arrest/article34497251.ece

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