Official sources believe that Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram J Kunte, who has allegedly tried to wriggle out of the leakage of an evidence-based (through phone tapping) report on high-level corruption in police transfer and posting, is finding himself dragged into the vortex of law.
Sources say that he did serious miscalculations by blaming senior state cadre IPS officer Rashmi Shukla, now ADG CRPF, based in Hyderabad, for leakage of corruption report that was blockquoted in March this year by former CM and leader of opposition in Assembly Devendra Fadnavis.
Kunte has handled several departments in the Maharashtra Government. He was the head of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority and has also served as an additional municipal commissioner in the BMC.
While giving Shukla protection against any coercive action by the state administration on August 21, a Bombay HC division bench on Friday and Saturday heard Shukla’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani’s revelations of the whole episode whose center of gravity, as pointed out by Mahesh, was none other than Kunte. Jethmalani said, “My client is made a scapegoat for the alleged leakage (of confidential documents).
The whole reason behind filing this FIR is to prevent documents from going to the CBI. You (Sitaram Kunte) sanctioned interceptions then why are you making an issue about it now? After Shukla was stripped of her post, over 150 police officials were transferred and 9 people got postings they bargained for.”
Mahesh, then, hit the nail into Kunte, “What were you doing when you repeatedly sanctioned all interceptions? Kunte cannot disown his interests and make my client a scapegoat, however hard he may try, he cannot do it. Where was the application of mind while sanctioning the phone taps?”
State advocate Darius Khambata stated the FIR against Rashmi Shukla pertained to data theft and leakage. He argued that the documents were admittedly confidential and “leaking of such documents which eventually found their way into the public domain was a serious offence to be investigated into”.