Jaipur: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s OSD Lokesh Sharma has once again been summoned by the Delhi Crime Branch in relation to the phone tapping case registered by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Sharma has been asked to present for questioning on October 22 at the Delhi office of the crime branch.
Lokesh Sharma consulting his legal team to decide his move as his petition questioning the FIR on the grounds of jurisdiction is pending before the Delhi High Court and crime branch has been restrained by the court from taking coercive action against Sharma. The next date of hearing in the case is January 13.
In the meantime, the Chief Whip of the Congress party Mahesh Joshi has objected to this summons and termed it unconstitutional. He said the case is related to Jaipur then how the FIR was lodged in Delhi. "This is not a good practice and unconstitutional too," he said.
It is to note that Mahesh Joshi was also summoned two months ago by Delhi Crime Branch in the same case but he refused to appear citing his age.
The phone tapping case
The case is related to the alleged phone tapping of some of the leaders including Shekhawat during the political crisis of the Gehlot government in July-August 2020.
The Pilot camp had accused the Gehlot government of tapping phones of some MLAs staying in Jaisalmer but the government had at the time denied that it was intercepting calls of MLAs.
The opposition BJP has demanded a CBI enquiry and Gehlot's resignation.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot had later justified the decision saying that they were done after approval of the competent authority under legal provisions.
The admission of phone tapping came eight months after audio clips of alleged horse trading and accusations that the BJP was trying to topple Gehlot’s government.