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BJD govt taps telephone violating SC guidelines: Cong

Posted on Dec 06, 07:26PM | UNI

The Opposition Congress today alleged that the ruling BJD government has tapped the telephones of all members, including ministers, in clear violation of the Supreme Court guidelines and urged Speaker P K Amat to direct the Chief Minister to make a statement in the House.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh said as per an information obtained through RTI the state government had tapped the telephones of 4,600 people during the last four years.

Mr Singh said except the Chief Minister, the telephones of all MLAs, ministers and officers were tapped violating the act and asked Mr Naveen Pattnaik to clarify the House on the issue.

The leader of Opposition said the Chief Minister was involved as without his approval the telephones could not be tapped and asked for his resignation. He should step down if he did not make a statement in the house and it would be construed that the allegations were correct, Mr Singh added.

Mr Singh said in 1988 Karnataka Chief Minister R K Hegde had resigned after the allegation of phone tapping surfaced.

He said the phone tapping is granted to prevent a major offence involving national security or to gather intelligence on anti-national and terrorist activities initially for two months as both the Union and the state governments are empowered to order interception of telephones U/S 5 of the India Telegraph Act 1885.

As per Supreme Court judgement phone tapping was invasion of right to privacy, uncivilised and undemocratic in nature, the leader of Opposition said, adding that as per the Supreme court guideless phone of a person could be tapped for two months and it could be extended upto six months if a strong reason was specified and it was reviewed by the Cabinet, Law and Telecommunication Secretary.