Gujarat Cong seeks probe by sitting SC Judge in snooping row

Gujarat Congress demanded a probe by a sitting SC judge in the raging snooping scandal and asked CM Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.

PTI| Updated: Nov 21, 2013, 00:05 AM IST

Ahmedabad: Stepping up its attack on ruling BJP, Gujarat Congress on Wednesday demanded a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge in the raging snooping scandal and asked Chief Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.

The scandal relates to "illegal" police watch of a woman architect allegedly at the behest of close Modi aide and former junior Home Minister Amit Shah.

The woman in a letter to National Commission for Women (NCW), has said she does not want any further probe into the row, but the main Opposition party maintained that this was no ground for not ordering a high-level inquiry and alleged direct role of Modi in the episode.

"Criminal jurisprudence says in case of a crime, anyone can become complainant and if it comes into the knowledge of government, then government must become complainant and register the offence.

"The other principle of criminal jurisprudence is that even if the victim is not willing to lodge a complaint against the tormentor, action must be initiated against the accused," Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said here.

"In this case of illegal tapping of phone and stalking of a woman at the instance of Chief Minister, BJP is not able to find any defence. It has just managed to have a baseless letter from the father of the lady that he does not want to lodge any complaint or demand any investigation.

Gohil said it is clearly listed in Criminal Procedure Code which cases are compoundable and telephone tapping, stalking by police without written permission, misuse of government machinery, cannot be compounded.

"Hence, by saying that the affected person does not want to lodge a complaint or have investigation does not make the offence compoundable (cases where the victim agrees to drop charges against the accused)," Gohil said.

He demanded inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court Judge into the matter.

Gohil said "the Chief Minister should clarify whether any company associated with the woman or her family has been given work in a solar energy-related project in Gandhinagar without tender. He should come clean on the entire issue.

"Tomorrow, the woman, who has now gone missing, may surface and say she had agreed to this surveillance but according to the Constitution, consent cannot be a ground for illegal surveillance," Gohil said.