CBI may close probe against Google in Mapathon case

  • Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 12, 2015 01:19 IST

Lack of evidence may force CBI to close its probe against Internet giant Google over Mapathon 2013 -- a competition to map utilities across India.

The agency had recently sought clarifications from four senior Google officials -- including two foreigners -- as part of its probe to ascertain if the competition was in violation of the National Map Policy.

Google is being probed for allegedly organising the competition in violation of Survey of India (SoI) – the country’s official mapping agency – after which a complaint was lodged with the Union home ministry.

“Due to lack of adequate evidence to corroborate the allegations, we are considering to close the probe,” said a CBI source. The agency may also take a legal opinion in the case before taking a final decision, the source said.

CBI, so far, has quizzed Google’s London-based technologist, whose clarifications were sought via video-conferencing, and a California-based engineer who came to Delhi for questioning.

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. Mapathon 2013, which was organised in February-March last year, had asked citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially the details related to hospitals and restaurants.

SoI had earlier claimed that when it asked Google to send the entries, it found that several entries contained details on defence installations that were not in public domain.

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