CBI closes 'map' probe against Google due to lack of evidence

  • Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2015 01:59 IST

CBI has closed its preliminary enquiry probe against Internet giant Google over alleged irregularities in Mapathon 2013 -- a competition to map utilities across India -- due to lack of adequate evidence.

Google had organised the mapping competition in February-March of 2013 allegedly without requisite government permissions in violation of Survey of India (SoI) norms, following which the latter which is the country's official mapping agency had lodged a complaint with the home ministry.

The agency had sought clarifications from four senior Google officials – including a London-based technologist and a California-based engineer -- as part of its probe to ascertain if the competition was in violation of the National Map Policy.

“Due to lack of adequate evidence to corroborate the allegations, we have closed the probe,” said a CBI source. HT had first reported -- in February 12 this year -- that CBI might close the probe and also about the commencement of the probe (on July 26 last year).

The competition had asked citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants, but ended up alarming the SoI.

SoI's additional surveyor general (technical) Major General Anil Kumar had then told HT, “When we asked them to send us the entries, we found that there were several entries containing details on defence installations that are not in the public domain. So, we requested the home ministry to look into the violation.” According to SoI, military vital areas must not be shown in the public domain.

Initially, the home ministry had asked Delhi Police to investigate the case but after its reluctance, it asked the CBI to take over the probe.

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