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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Won't go ahead with Snoopgate probe: Centre to SC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 09, 2014
First Published: 13:49 IST(9/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:47 IST(10/5/2014)

The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that there was no proposal to appoint a commission of inquiry into the Snoopgate controversy.

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“There is no proposal to appoint any commission of inquiry,” solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told a bench headed by justice Ranjana Prakash Desai during the hearing of a petition filed by the woman, allegedly tailed by Gujarat Police five years ago, purportedly at the instance of state chief minister Narendra Modi.

The woman along with her father petitioned the top court to stay the commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged snooping, saying it violated her right to privacy and that the surveillance was done on their request. The Snoopgate controversy was used by Congress to target Modi and his close aide Amit Shah.

The apex court asked both petitioners to approach the Gujarat high court to restrain the state from going ahead with its commission of inquiry.
 
“Nothing survives in this petition in view of the stand taken by the Centre,” the bench told the counsel, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar after recording Parasaran’s statement. During the brief hearing, however, the bench observed it was only concerned with what the woman had said and did not want to go into any other consideration.

Agreeing with the court’s suggestion, Kumar withdrew the petition. The bench, however, made it clear that it had not made any comments on the merits of the case.

Appearing for Gujarat government, additional advocate general Tushar Mehta said he would have to seek instructions to respond to the petition. But, before the court could ask him to do so, the petitioners withdrew the case.

The bench also rejected suspended Gujarat cadre IAS officer Pradeep Sharma’s plea to intervene in the matter. The bench told him he had already filed substantial petition and would be heard after the summer vacations are over. Sharma has moved SC to quash the criminal cases lodged against him claiming the state administration was harassing him as he was aware of the Snoopgate controversy.

Last year two news portals released CD’s of purported telephonic conversations between Shah and two top state police officials related to the tailing of the woman in 2009. Shah was then the state home minister.


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