MVA orders judicial probe into ‘letter bomb’, seeks report on phone tapping

4 months ago 51
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MUMBAI: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Wednesday night decided to conduct a judicial probe under the

Commission

of

Inquiry Act

into former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s ‘

letter bomb

’.
CM Thackeray also asked chief secretary Sitaram Kunte to submit a comprehensive report on the phone-tapping in the alleged police transfers case when

IPS

officer Rashmi Shukla was state intelligence commissioner.
“The cabinet took note of Singh’s letter as well as the outcome of the

Supreme Court

proceedings. It was decided that it would be appropriate if a judicial commission is set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act to probe into all aspects of the ‘letter bomb’. A retired Bombay high court judge will be appointed to conduct the inquiry,” a

senior NCP minister

told TOI.
Welcoming the decision, home minister Anil

Deshmukh

said: “It was my demand that all charges should be probed. The CM has accepted our proposal.”
A day after his unceremonious exit, Singh had written a strongly worded letter to Thackeray alleging that Deshmukh had asked arrested API Sachin Waze to mobilise Rs 100 crore per month from establishments. Singh had mentioned that the issues were brought to the notice of the CM, his deputy, and NCP president

Sharad Pawar

, but no action was taken.
Earlier in the day, during a discussion in the cabinet, ministers called for action against Shukla for illegally intercepting communication and breach of privacy. “There was a row over whether Shukla had obtained permission of the competent authority before tapping phones. It was alleged that some phones were tapped without authority. So, the CM has asked Kunte, who was then the additional chief secretary (home) to submit the report as early as possible. We were expecting the report tonight, but it appears that he will submit it on Thursday,” the NCP minister said. Pointing out that phones can be tapped only under guidelines issued by the Centre, NCP minister Jitendra Awhad said: “The reasons given by Shukla were not in line with these guidelines. She sought permission to tap one person’s phone, but was tapping many people’s phones.”
Earlier in the day, state Congress president Nana Patole sought a high-level probe under the Commission of Inquiry Act in the Waze episode and Singh’s allegations. “Had I been the head of the administration, instead of shifting Singh, I would have suspended him for exceeding his brief.”

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