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Vigilance directorate whistleblower Savukku Shankar acquitted in 2008 phone tapping case

Nearly nine years after whistleblower from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), A Shankar, popularly known as Savukku Shankar, was accused of leaking sensitive information to the media, a trial court has acquitted him of all charges.

The 17th Additional Sessions Court in Chennai acquitted Shankar of all charges on Friday, citing lack of evidence.  

Speaking to The News Minute following the verdict, Shankar says, “I am happy and relieved. It has been an eight-year-long struggle and all credit goes to my advocate N Ramesh, who has been fighting the case pro-bono.”

The criminal case dates back to 2008 when a transcript of a taped conversation between the then Chief Secretary LK Tripathi and then DVAC chief SK Upadhyay was published in Deccan Chronicle. The conversation allegedly had the then CS giving instructions on the investigation into Jayalalithaa’s Kodanadu estate case. Based on the transcript, Tripathi advises Upadhyay to ask the Income Tax Department to look into Jayalalithaa’s alleged share transactions at Kodanadu estate.  

Following an inquiry by a retired High Court judge, Shankar was accused of leaking the taped conversation. While he was suspended by the DVAC, he was arrested in July 2008 and charged under Section 66, 70, and 72 of the IT Act.

“I was definitely targeted by the DMK for exposing some corrupt officers. The battle is still not over. I am still facing suspension at the DVAC pending a departmental inquiry,” notes Shankar.

In 2010, Shankar started a blog – Savukku or whip in Tamil – writing several articles on the alleged corruption in the state government.

Source: The News Minute