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Calcutta CAT bench head alleges phone tapping

Posted on Mar 27 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, March 27 : Justice Pratap Kumar Ray, a retired Calcutta High Court judge and current head of the Central Administrative Tribunal's (CAT) Calcutta bench, has complained to the home secretary that his mobile phone is being tapped.

"I use this number to contact so many dignitaries including the CAT chairman. But of late whenever I call I hear a sound. It seems my conversations are being recorded. So I have written to the union home secretary," Ray told IANS.

Ray, while hearing a petition by former Indian Police Service officer Nazrul Islam Feb 3, had annulled the promotion of five West Bengal IPS officers to the rank of director general of police (DGP) including the existing head of the state police, G.M.P. Reddy.

While the CAT order was overturned by the Calcutta High Court, the Mamata Banerjee government March 25 moved the high court against the CAT bench comprising Ray and P.K. Basu alleging it had passed "biased orders".

In his complaint letter, Ray has sought necessary action for breach of his personal liberty as enshrined under article 21 of the constitution.

"You are requested to take necessary action as per law as tapping of mobile phone is not only an offence, but it is a breach of article 21 of the constitution of India," reads the letter sent by the registrar of CAT, Calcutta bench, K. Biswal.

The former acting chief justice of the Calcutta High Court is also planning to approach the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

"Though I don't remember, but it seems my phone is being tapped ever since the CAT order (in Islam's case) and there is a likelihood the surveillance has increased after Monday when the case against me was filed.

"I am discussing the matter with the CAT chairman. Once it is confirmed that my phone has been tapped, I will approach the CBI and lodge a formal police complaint," said Ray who refused to comment if the state government was behind this.

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