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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Phone tapping: Govt mulls to furnish CDs back to FSL

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, May 20, 2013
First Published: 23:43 IST(20/5/2013) | Last Updated: 09:29 IST(21/5/2013)

With virtually no headway into investigations in much-hyped telephone tapping case, the state government now fears that recorded conversations in compact disks (CDs) lying with it could be “leaked” out if it hands them over to probing agency - anti-corruption and vigilance bureau.

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The government is now mulling to hand over the compact disks back to forensic laboratory.

It's been more than a month that the vigilance bureau had sought the disks containing the telephonic conversations for getting more information to investigate the case.

However, the government on one or the other reason had been dilly-dallying the handing over the disks to the VB.

The vigilance had maintained that the list of telephone numbers handed over to them was not enough to take forward the investigations.

The hard disks contain recorded telephonic conversations of   leaders from the Congress and the BJP, bureaucrats, technocrats, realtors, property dealers and even police officials.

Sources told the Hindustan Times that the handing over of the disks to the vigilance was delayed following inputs from CID that expressed apprehensions about conversations being leaked if given them to the VB.

The CID's suggestions are also being seen as move stemmed from the rivalry among police's top officials. However, it's a known fact that the controversy over telephone tapping had already put a question mark on fairness and competence of CID.

The CID is a prime agency which is authorised to record telephonic conversations apart from central intelligence agency, which has its own network spread across the state.

With questions being raised over investigations, the government is now mulling to hand over the disks back to State Forensic Laboratory, Junga.

Currently, the disks are in the custody of chief secretary Sudripta Roy. “No, the government is not trying to give a decent burial to telephone tapping. How the telephones were tapped is atrocious. I have no intention to hamper the investigations, but at the same time we are also concerned about the privacy of the individuals,” Roy said.

“The final call will be taken after the matter is discussed with the chief minister,” he added. “The forensic laboratory can further decide which information should be shared with the investigation agency,” he maintained.

There has almost been an impasse ever since the investigations were handed over to the anti-corruption and vigilance bureau   more than month ago.

The state government had handed over the list of the telephone numbers that were retrieved from hard disks of computers seized from the offices of CID and ACVB headquarters.

Is snooping still on?
Since the time telephone tapping came to public glare till today, subscribers whether political leaders, bureaucrats or the common man, all are apprehensive to talk on mobile phones. “Rumors are rife that telephones are still being tapped. Bureaucrats are the most vulnerable lot,” said a senior bureaucrat


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