Snoopgate: PIL challenging legality of enquiry panel in Gujarat HC

Last Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 16:34

Ahmedabad: A PIL, challenging the legality of Justice Sugnya Bhatt inquiry commission, set up by the state government to probe the alleged snooping incident, was today moved before the Gujarat High Court here.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Girish Das, said that the inquiry panel will investigate a single incident pertaining to illegal surveillance of a young woman ordered by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s close aide Amit Shah.

However, under Section 3 of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, under which the probe panel was set up, does not fall under public importance because it pertains to a single individual, he argued.

The petitioner further sought CBI inquiry into alleged illegal phone-tapping of 93,000 persons carried out by the state government in the last six months.

Two investigative news portals had claimed on November 15 that Amit Shah, then minister of state for home, had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one "Saheb" in 2009.

They had released taped conversations between Shah and suspended IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim, but said that its authenticity could not be confirmed.

Civil society organisation and Opposition Congress had raised furore over the alleged snooping incident and demanded a CBI inquiry.

Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who was also allegedly snooped by the police, had in a petition in the Supreme Court, said, "the reasons for his victimisation were his knowledge of the `intimacy` shared by Modi with the young lady architect who worked in Bangalore but was originally from Bhuj in Gujarat."

The state government had, on November 25, formed a two-member commission, comprising Justice (retd.) Sugnya Bhatt and former IAS officer K C Kapoor, to probe the alleged snooping scandal.

Opposition Gujarat Congress has termed the probe panel as an "eyewash".

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala in the Gujarat High Court posted the matter for further hearing for next week.


First Published: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 16:34

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