Phone Tapping Case: Additional Sessions Court asks Ashok Gehlot and Others to Appear on March 16

Phonetapping Right to Privacy Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published on: March 6, 2022 at 12:11 IST

The Additional Sessions Court issued Notices to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Mahesh Joshi, and others; asking them to appear before it on March 16, 2022 in relation to an alleged Phone Tapping Case.

Notices were also issued to former Chief Secretary Rajeeva Swarup, former Director General of Police (DGP) Bhupendra Singh, former Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, Special Operations Group (SOG) Additional Director General of Police Ashok Rathore, SOG Statoin House Oficer Ravindra Kumar Bhuria, and Chief Minister’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Lokesh Sharma.

The Court issued the Notices based upon a Revision Petition filed by Advocate OP Solanki. Solanki had filed the Petition in the Lower Court over the allegations of Phone Tapping during a power tussle within the Congress which was the ruling party in 2020. The controversy of Phone Tapping erupted in Rajasthan in July 2020.

A Case had also been filed in the Delhi Crime Branch with respect to the alleged Phone Tapping. It was filed based on the Complaint of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Lokesh Sharma had also appeared for questioning before the Crime Branch. However, he rejected the allegations of Phone Tapping.

The Audio Clips of alleged Telephonic Conversations between Congress leaders and Gajendra Singh surfaced during a rebellion against Ashok Gehlot by the then Deputy Chief Minsiter Sachin Pilot and 18 Congress MLAs supporting him.

It was alleged that the audio clips were circulated by Sharma which had the conversations about the conspiracy to topple the Congress government.

Based on the audio clips, Congress Leader Mahesh Joshi lodged Complaints with the SOG and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the Rajasthan Police. However, the First Information Report (FIR) did not mention that Gajendra Singh referred to in a clip was Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Later, the Case was closed by the SOG after the Congress High Command intervened for resolving issues between Gehlot and Pilot.

The matter is listed for hearing on March 16, 2022.

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Right to Privacy and Phone Tapping

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