Govt appears to have closed FM 'bugging' probe



New Delhi: A raging controversy notwithstanding, the government appears to have closed the probe into the reported bugging episode in the offices of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his senior aides as neither Intelligence Bureau nor private detectives "found" anything.

Official sources said during its probe the IB has not found anything suspicious which suggested bugging of the offices of the Finance Minister, his advisor Omita Paul, his private secretary Manoj Pant and two conference rooms.

The private detectives hired for electronically sweeping the rooms of Mukherjee and others also have found nothing during their probe, they said.

The IB also questioned the private detectives as well as the then CDBT member (Investigations) Sudhir Chandra and all of them confirmed that nothing has been found in relation to the "planted adhesives" reportedly detected in the North Block offices of the Finance Minister last year.

"Since nothing has been found in the two enquiries, there is no point in continuing it," sources said.

After the detection of "planted adhesives", Mukherjee wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to order a "secret inquiry" into what he called "serious breach of security" in his office.

Before the IB was asked by the Prime Minister to look into the matter, private detectives were called by the Central Board of Direct Taxes to conduct an "electronic sweep" on the Ministry's chambers.

Mukherjee last week had said during its inquiry, the IB had found "nothing".

PTI