Snoopgate: Father-daughter petition to go to Gujarat High Court

The Supreme Court today suggested to the woman, who was tailed by Gujarat Police five years ago, to approach high court against the state government-appointed probe.

PTI| Updated: May 09, 2014, 17:52 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today suggested to the woman, who was tailed by Gujarat Police five years ago, to approach high court against the state government-appointed probe after the Centre said it was not going ahead with its Commission of Inquiry into the issue.

A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made the suggestion when it was hearing a joint petition filed by the woman, who was tailed by police allegedly on the orders of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and her father for stopping the Centre and state government from going ahead with their Commissions of Inquiry.

Earlier the bench recorded the statement made by Solicitor General Mohan Parsaran that "there is no proposal to appoint any commission of inquiry". Nothing survives in the petition in view of the stand taken by the Centre, the bench said.

The petitioners counsel Ranjit Kumar agreed with the view of the bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana, that the setting up of Commission of Inquiry by the Gujarat Government can be challenged in the Gujarat High Court.

While allowing withdrawal of the petition, the bench made it clear that it was "not making any comments on the merits of the case".

However, during the brief hearing, the bench observed that "We are little concerned about what she said as a woman and we don`t want to go into any other consideration".

The bench wanted to take the stand of the state government and asked Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta to make a statement. He wanted sometime for seeking instruction, which was allowed.

However, before he could convey anything, the counsel for the woman and her father agreed with the bench`s suggestion to move the High Court.

Earlier in the week, the government dropped its decision to go ahead with appointing a judge for the probe after IPA constituents -- National Conference and Nationalist Congress Party opposed the move of naming a judge.

During the hearing, the bench disallowed advocate Penchant Bhutan, appearing on behalf of suspended IAS officer Pradesh Sharma, from interfering in the matter brought by the woman and her father.

"We will not allow you to interfere in this matter. You have already filed a substantial petition which is pending and we will hear after summer vacation," the bench said.

In the petition, the woman and her father had sought protection of their fundamental right to privacy and right to live with dignity.
A controversy broke out last year when two news portals released Cd`s of purported telephonic conversations between Brenda MIDI aide Amity Shah, who was then state Home Minister, and two top state police officials relating to snooping on a woman architect in 2009.
While the Gujarat government constituted an enquiry commission in November last year, the Union Cabinet also decided to follow suit.