Delhi Police Crime Branch has lodged an FIR against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Lokesh Sharma on Thursday at Tughlak Road police station. The FIR was registered on the complaint of the Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. An investigation has been started in the phone-tapping case.
According to reports, a senior police officer said that the case was transferred to the crime branch on Thursday and an FIR was registered under relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, the IT Act, and the Indian Penal Code.
The FIR reportedly states that Sharma had illegally intercepted the telephonic conversation with other persons. It states that on July 17, 2020, several big media houses and news channels had telecast telephonic conversations alleged to have taken place between Sanjay Jain, MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Lokesh Sharma.
The FIR further states that the authorities have no jurisdiction to exercise the powers under the said section. Securing the political ends of a particular leader or a party does not substitute public emergency or public safety, the FIR stated.
A notice was served by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to the media houses and it was disclosed in their reply that Lokesh Sharma had provided them with the intercepted conversations.
Rajasthan phone tapping case
The phone-tapping controversy had erupted in Rajasthan in July last year during a political crisis within the government due to the rebellion of the former deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot. Pilot along with 18 other MLAs had revolted against Gehlot. Some audio clips had surfaced thereafter allegedly related to a telephonic conversation between Shekhawat and Congress leaders. Pilot-led MLAs had alleged that CM Gehlot had tapped their phones when they were staying at Jaisalmer’s Suryagarh hotel.
Congress had accused the BJP leaders of indulging in horse-trading in an attempt to topple the state government. The BJP had demanded a CBI inquiry in the matter. An FIR was registered in October last year at Vidhayak Puri police station, Jaipur against Pilot’s media manager Lokendra Singh and Aaj Tak journalist Sharat Kumar for reporting on the phone tapping of Congress MLAs during their stay in a hotel in Jaisalmer.