New Delhi: Mahesh Joshi, the Congress chief whip in the Rajasthan Assembly, has been summoned by the Crime Branch unit of Delhi Police for questioning in the phone tapping case. The complaint was lodged by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The police have asked Mr. Joshi to appear at the Prashant Vihar Crime Branch office in Rohini for questioning.
Despite receiving the notice on Tuesday, Joshi stated ,’On the said date, I will not be able to appear before the Crime Branch in Delhi’. However, he said that he would respond to the notice today. According to the Congress leader, he is not named in the FIR that has been filed by the police on the complaint lodged by Shakhawat, who is also the Jodhpur MP for the BJP. Last July, the Rajasthan phone-tapping controversy broke out. There was a rebellion against Ashok Gehlot by his then deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 Congress MLAs who supported him. Congress leaders in Gehlot’s camp alleged that BJP leaders were attempting to topple the State government by horse-trading.
Based on Mr. Shekhawat’s complaint, the Delhi police registered an FIR in March this year against Mr. Gehlot’s Special Duty Officer Lokesh Sharma and others for criminal conspiracy, a covenant of faith, and illegally intercepting telegraphic signals (telephone conversation). The allegations have been rejected by Mr. Sharma. The Delhi High Court had ordered that the FIR against him be quashed. Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court ordered the Delhi Police not to take any coercive action against Mr. Sharma until the next hearing date, August 6.
Mr. Joshi filed complaints regarding the audio clips of conversations purportedly regarding attempts to overthrow the Rajasthan government with the State Police Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last year. Gajendra Singh is not identified in the Rajasthan Police FIR, although he is mentioned in the video clip as being Union Minister Shekhawat. The SOG closed the case when the Congress high command intervened to resolve the disagreements between Gehlot and Pilot.