Government not to pursue appointment of snoopgate judge
The UPA government has decided not to pursue its move to appoint a judge to head the commission to probe the alleged snooping over a woman architect by the Gujarat government.
Sources said the decision on appointment of judge had been left to the next government.
The government's move to appoint a judge -- months after it announced a commission to probe the snoopgate allegations -- was staunchly opposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Two of the Congress allies in the government -- the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the National Conference (NC) -- also expressed their strong reservations over the proposal.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal last week said a judge will be appointed before May 16 -- the day the Lok Sabha election results will be declared -- to head the probe panel.
The central government had decided in December last to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the charges of illegal surveillance by the Gujarat government.
NCP leader Praful Patel had said Sunday it was not right to appoint a judge with about 10 days left for the poll results.
NC leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also said that if a decision to appoint a commission was taken in December, it should have been implemented and appointing a judge five months later was wrong.
Congress leaders had over the past few days stepped up their attack on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over allegations the Gujarat government mounted illegal surveillance on a woman architect, allegedly at his instance.
Official sources claimed the UPA government's decision not to go ahead with appointing a judge for the commission had been taken before the allies expressed their reservations over the move.
(Posted on 05-05-2014)