SC orders police to stop ‘harassing’ cop Mukesh Gupta: Chhattisgarh

Gupta had alleged that the police was tapping the phones of the family

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday restrained the Chhattisgarh Police from ‘unduly harassing’ senior IPS officer Mukesh Gupta. He had earlier accused the police and the administration under Chief Minister (CM) Bhupesh Baghel of ‘hounding’ him and his family, The Indian Express reported.

The SC also granted him protection from arrest in the cases lodged against him.

Mukesh Gupta, along with two other IPS officers from Chhattisgarh was suspended after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the police headed by S R P Kalluri accused him of criminal conspiracy and illegal phone tapping in the INR 36,000 crore Civil Supplies Corporation scam.

At the time, Gupta was booked under sections 193 (false evidence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 466 (forgery), 471 (Using as genuine a forged), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections of IPC and under provisions of Indian Telegraph Act.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat told the state police to cease tapping the phones of Gupta’s two daughters, as was alleged by him. Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Gupta, said that the police was illegally intercepting the calls of his daughters in connection with the unnatural death of a family friend in 2001.

Jethmalani argued that Gupta was a key official in unearthing the Civil Supplies Corporation scam in which the NagrikAapurti Nigam (NAN) was involved and also made key revelations in the Alok Agrawal case.

Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the state, denied any knowledge of the phone tapping charges, but said that he was willing to give an ‘undertaking’ that there would be no tapping henceforth.

The SC ordered, “Let the phone tapping be stopped forthwith, as assured by Mr Mukul Rohatgi, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent(s). There shall be no further phone tapping.” It added that the “interim order shall continue to operate until further orders and the petitioner is not to be harassed. He shall not be arrested also.”

In an interim order on September 2, the court had stayed three FIRs filed by the state against Gupta and issued a notice to the state and Baghel.

The next hearing in the case is on November 4.

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