Guidelines for getting call details tightened

New Delhi In order to curb illegal phone snooping, the government ön Wednesday announced in Rajya Sabha that guidelines have been revised with an aim of tightening the process of obtaining telephone call data records (CDRs) of MPs and other citizens.

The guidelines have been tightened as the government has found some of the police officers misusing CDRs, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said during Question Hour.

Privacy of any citizen and confidentiality of telephone numbers being used by any citizen of this country for communication must be protected. If anybody breaches that, the government has to take serious action, he said.

"Recently, on 28th (July), few days back, we have revised the guidelines. ...The initial guidelines were far general," the minister added.

As per the revised guidelines, head of the police organisation's permission is required for obtaining CDRs of Members of Parliament. In city, Police Commissioner must authorise, Rijiju said.

Only authorised officers and nodal designated officers in the Centre and state have been authorised with clear stipulation to maintain particular email ID and password to be updated timely, more preferably monthly, he added.

That apart, every additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) or Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the district, the Crime Branch, Economic Wing, Special Cell, IG Airport ACP and Special Cell, Crime Branch have been authorised to obtain CDRs, he added.

Asserting that the government is taking serious note of misuse of CDRs, Rijiju said, "We have also found that some of the police officers are also involved. That's why we have been very strict. Within the system, we must have very strong measures in place..."

The Delhi Police has detected two cases of illegal use of CDRs and many arrests have been made. "We are very confident that it will help in further getting into the similar cases as well as stop such cases in future," the minister noted.

To a query by Sharad Yadav (JD-U) on any action taken against one capitalist allegedly involved in phone tapping of some ministers and even National Security Advisor, Rijiju said, "The case of phone tapping and the question on CDRs are inter-related. It is a serious issue."

He said, "The Home Ministry has handed over the case to Delhi Police for investigation. We have also given all details to the court on this issue. A special cell has been set up and that is probing. The moment we get updates, we will inform the House."

The MoS for Home Affairs, while refusing to disclose the details of the probe, said, "If I stand here and take stand when the inquiry is on, it will be unfair."

With regard to phone tapping, he said approval of Home Secretary at the Centre and state is required. "We have taken this issue very seriously and hence have issued the guidelines," he said.

The government is also strengthening centralised monitoring system, Rijiju added.

Responding to another query, the minister said no external agency have been found in cases of illegal obtaining of CDRs. The Directorate of Revenue and NATGRID are among thers who have been authorised to conduct investigation.

He also said the government is regulating use of imported phone tapping devices. It has seized some devices used for illegal purpose.

The victim was left in the field by the criminals, who fled after committing the heinous act in Khadua road under CB Ganj police station.