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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Snoopgate probe likely to be given quiet burial

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 22, 2014
First Published: 16:43 IST(22/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:11 IST(23/6/2014)

The NDA government is likely to drop the UPA’s “politically motivated” move of setting up a judicial commission to probe the Snoopgate issue, where a young woman was allegedly spied on by the Gujarat government.

The December 26 order had been passed to look into charges of illegal surveillance in Gujarat on a young woman architect in 2009 at the behest of one “saheb”, an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, then Gujarat minister of state for home.

The issue had triggered a political storm with the Congress using it to target Modi during the campaigning for the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/6/23_06_14-metro1d.gif
Then Manmohan Singh government’s plan to name a judge for the inquiry just before the counting of votes on May 16 had prompted angry reactions from UPA constituents, including the Nationalist Congress Party and the National Conference.

Under fire, the UPA had decided to drop the move and leave it to the next government.

The BJP had also strongly opposed the move and demanded the probe be stopped since a parallel inquiry had been ordered by the Gujarat government.

After coming to power, the NDA government had indicated that it would review the UPA decision. Union minister of state for home Kiran Rijiju had said a decision to order a probe into any case needs to be based on merit and has to be without any bias.

The proposed commission — that was likely to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired chief justice of a high court — would have also looked into charges of snooping by the BJP on Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh when he was in the opposition.

The panel would also have investigated the revealing of call data records of Arun Jaitley, then Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and now Union finance minister.


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