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Snoopgate: Panel to find out if conspiracy in release of tapes

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 23:20

Ahmedabad: Gujarat government Tuesday formally issued a notification constituting an inquiry commission into the alleged snooping scandal, in which the panel has been asked to find out if there was any conspiracy in releasing the tapes after four years.

Under attack over alleged snooping on a woman by Gujarat Police, Narendra Modi government appointed a two-member Commission of Inquiry yesterday, the notification of which was issued today.

The commission is headed by retired Gujarat High Court judge Sugnyaben K Bhatt. Retired Additional Chief Secretary K C Kapoor will be part of the inquiry panel, which has been asked to submit its report within three months.

The commission has been given six terms of references (ToR) to inquire into and submit its report.

"Whether the circumstances leading to release of audio tapes after a long gap of four years reveals any conspiracy," the ToR as per the notification said.

BJP has alleged that there was a conspiracy in the release of audio tapes just ahead of the 2014 polls to malign the name of the party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and pointed figures towards the CBI and Congress.
As per the notification, the commission has been asked to "check the authenticity of the tapes" and "whether the incident(s) of security/surveillance as alleged in the web portals Gulail.Com and Cobra Post and subsequent telecast/ publishing in various medias actually took place".

The ToR also asks the commission to "find out the facts, circumstances, reasons and causes that led to alleged security/surveillance if any and/or steps taken by the government agencies".

"Whether there was any breach of or non-compliance with any laid down mandatory legal provisions and/or administrative procedures in the process," the ToR further reads.
The tapes show purported conversations between then Minister of State for Home in Gujarat Amit Shah giving orders to IPS officer G L Singhal to snoop on a woman architect.

Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, is reportedly heard saying his "Saheb" wants that an eye be kept on the woman. It was alleged that he was referring to Modi.

First Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 23:20

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