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Delhi Police serves fresh notice to Rajasthan CM's OSD in phone-tapping case

New Delhi: Delhi Police has served a notice to Lokesh Sharma, the OSD to the Rajasthan chief minister, asking him to appear on Monday for questioning in a phone-tapping case that came to light in Rajasthan in 2020, the official said on Sunday.

"He has been called to the Crime Branch office on Monday at 11 am," an official said. Prior to this, he appeared before the Crime Branch for questioning on February 13.

The police have claimed that the evidence found in this case is linked to Lokesh Sharma.

On March 25, 2021, the Delhi Police registered an FIR against Sharma for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and unlawfully intercepting telegraphic signals (telephonic conversation) on a complaint lodged by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the BJP MP from Jodhpur.

An interim order to stay coercive action against Sharma was passed on June 3, 2021, after he approached the high court seeking the quashing of the FIR filed against him.

The case dates back to 2020 when Rajasthan faced a political crisis.

Audio clips of alleged telephonic conversations between Shekhawat and Congress leaders surfaced amid a rebellion against Gehlot by his then-deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him.
It was alleged that Sharma circulated the purported clips about an alleged conspiracy to topple the Congress government. However, Sharma has rejected the allegations.

Denying the allegations against him, Sharma had claimed, "I firmly say that the allegation of phone tapping on me is absolutely wrong. I have not tapped any phone."
Lokesh Sharma earlier had claimed that he had received the audio clips through WhatsApp which made reached the people of the state through the media.

"The clip had a conversation about bringing down a constitutionally-elected government. To expose this, I made an effort so that the clip reaches the public domain," Sharma had earlier said. (ANI)

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