Chandigarh: Himachal Pradesh government has decided to take action against all those involved, including service providers, in connection with alleged phone tapping case during the previous BJP regime in the state.
"Action will be taken against all, including officials and service providers, in connection with illegal tapping of 1,201 phones," Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh told media here today.
Singh said if former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was found guilty in the enquiry being conducted by the state vigilance department, the government would file an FIR against him also.
"As per the report of the state Forensic Science Laboratory 1,371 phones were tapped even though the Home Department had given permission for just 170 phones belonging to criminals, smugglers, drug traders and in cases of threat to security," the Chief Minister said.
"All other (1,201) phones were tapped as per the instruction of the DGP on verbal asking of then Chief Minister (Prem Kumar Dhumal)," Singh said, assuring that the inquiry will be completed speedily and he would not allow "the matter to go into limbo."
He said that the conversations allegedly erased by the outgoing BJP government can be retrieved as the state investigating agency has procured the technology required to retrieve erased data.
"In future no illegal phone tapping will be allowed in Himachal Pradesh whose people are peace loving," the CM said.
On being asked whether his phone was among those tapped, Virbhadra alleged, "My number can be in the list. Dhumal paid special attention to me."
"We are investigating the entire issue. FIR will be lodged after completion of the probe against all those found guilty maybe the DGP, former Chief Minister and service provider. Anybody found guilty in the probe will be booked," the Chief Minister said adding if a need arose the help of CBI could be taken.
"It is a very serious matter and the government will take stringent action against the officials involved in illegal phone tapping infringing the right to privacy of individuals and violating the Indian Telegraph Act," Singh said, adding that the alleged phone tapping by CID, Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau will be thoroughly probed.