Final report into illegal phone-tapping in HP submitted
Shimla: The final report into the alleged phone tapping by state Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau during the previous BJP government was submitted on Saturday, claiming that about 500 more phones were tapped.
The three-member committee of experts from State Forensic Laboratory (SFL) constituted by the Himachal Pradesh government submitted its second and final report.
Chief Secretary S Roy said the committee had submitted its report to the government and said about 500 phones, including that of politicians, bureaucrats and journalists, were tapped.
"I will discuss the report with the chief minister," he said. In an earlier report submitted to the government, the committee had said officials of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had put 789 telephones under surveillance with permission for only 34 cases taken.
Roy said a special team of forensic and cyber crime experts and investigators would be constituted to probe into the illegal phone tapping and opinion of legal experts would also be sought.
As CID and Vigilance are allegedly involved in phone tapping it would not be prudent to get the matter investigated by the state police, he said.
Director General of Police I D Bhandari, who was heading the CID when the illegal phone tapping took place, was removed from the post last month after the matter came to light.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh too had reacted sharply to the issue and said strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
"It is not only infringement of democratic rights, especially the right to privacy, but also illegal and violation of Telegraph Act," he had said. The government has so far not revealed the names of those whose phones were under surveillance and the content of the recorded conversations.