Shukla herself may have leaked letter on `transfer scam': Maha chief secy

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(Eds: recasting headline and intro) Mumbai, Mar 25 (PTI) IPS officer Rashmi Shukla herself may have `leaked' her confidential letter on alleged corruption in transfers in the Maharashtra police department, state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte has said in his `fact- finding' report.

Kunte had been asked to submit a report by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged that the state government suppressed Shukla's letter or report, based on phone intercepts, on a `transfer scam'.

'Despite stamping the letter as TOP SECRET, Rashmi Shukla seems to have leaked the letter, which is very serious matter. If it is proved, she will be liable for strictest action against her,' Kunte's report, which was made public, said.

'She had intercepted the phone calls and exposing these names also threatened the privacy of the officials,' Kunte said.

The transfers mentioned in Shukla's letter, however, did not actually take place, and 'there is no misdeed in transfers as well,' said the chief secretary.

Referring to speculation about more data in a pen drive, Kunte said there was no accompanying pen drive when Shukla sent her letter to the state government.

'Prima facie, it appears that the letter has been leaked by Shukla herself,' Kunte said.

He also claimed that Shukla had sought permission to tap some phone calls saying it was needed 'in the interest of public safety', but she misled the state government.

NCP leader Jitendra Awhad had on Wednesday alleged that Shukla, then Commissioner of Intelligence, sought permission for intercepting the calls of certain persons, but actually the calls of some other persons were tapped. PTI ND KRK KRK KRK