New Delhi: Rejecting charges of political vendetta, government on Thursday said the Commission of Inquiry set up by it will probe snooping cases involving multiple states that include alleged surveillance on a woman in Gujarat and leaking of call data records of BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
"There is no vendetta, no revenge, no politics. We are taking action on the basis of facts and following the people`s representations sent to the President. We are taking action as per people`s wish," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.
Shinde said that there were constant demands to the central government over the last one-and-a-half months for a probe into the Gujarat case, a reference of the the alleged snooping on a woman at the behest of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He said a delegation of 47 women had met President Pranab Mukherjee and given representations demanding a probe.
The President had referred the representations to the Home Ministry for necessary action which led to today`s decision by the Union Cabinet of setting up of a Commission of Inquiry.
The Home Minister said the inquiry ordered by the Gujarat government, to be conducted by a retired high court judge, cannot be compared with the Centre`s order for probe as the Commission of Inquiry will cover multiple states while the Gujarat inquiry was concentrated only within the state.
Shinde said there were several cases in the states of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi and the Commission of Inquiry will cover all of them.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was allegedly snooped on by the previous BJP government when he was not in office and that case will be probed by the Commission of Inquiry, he said.
According to Home Ministry sources, the previous Prem Singh Dhumal government allegedly destroyed all records of snooping on Singh before the new government was formed.
BJP had hit out at the Government for setting up the inquiry, saying it smacks of political vindictiveness and a witch-hunt targeting Narendra Modi while indicating it will be challenged in court for "violation" of Centre-state ties.
The Home Minister said the leaking of call data records of BJP leader Arun Jaitely would also be probe by the Commission.
"Political parties were also demanding a probe (into Jaitely case)," he said.
Shinde said he has written to the Law Ministry to suggest a few persons who could be part of the Commission of Inquiry.
Asked whether the Commission of Inquiry was ordered in view of the coming Lok Sabha polls, the Home Minister denied there were any political considerations.
The Commission of Inquiry will submit its report within three months. The Lok Sabha elections are expected to be held in April-May, 2014.