The two-member commission set up by the Modi administration to inquire into allegations of snooping on a young woman by Gujarat police agencies on the alleged directions of Amit Shah, the then minister of state for home, will not just stop at that. It will also probe whether the release of audio tapes after a gap of four years reveals a conspiracy against the state government as has been suggested by BJP leaders in recent days.
Gujarat issued the commission’s terms of reference in a notification on Tuesday, a day Congress leaders lashed out at the panel, calling it an “eyewash.”
The notification states that the commission will inquire “whether the circumstance leading to the release of the audio-tapes after a long gap of four years reveal any conspiracy”. It will also probe the “authenticity” of the tapes, whether the surveillance as alleged by web portals Cobrapost and Gulail actually took place; facts, circumstances and reasons that led to alleged security/surveillance if any and whether there was a breach of legal provisions or process.
The panel will be headed by retired high court judge Sugnya Bhatt. The second member is retired bureaucrat KC Kapoor, who was once additional chief secretary in Gujarat.
The Congress hit out at the Gujarat government, referring to it as the “save Modi commission.” It raised questions on the objectivity and impartiality of the probe to be conducted by people who have closely worked with the state administration.
“The appointment of a two-member committee on snooping by the Modi government is a complete eyewash because the matter requires free and fair investigation, not Modi appointing his blue-eyed officials,” Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said.
“How can you trust a probe to be conducted by KC Kapoor, who was home secretary under Amit Shah,” a Congress leader asked.
Leading human rights lawyer Mukul Sinha said, “I firmly believe that the appointment of this commission is merely eyewash and specifically aimed to tide over the period from now till 2014 elections so that… the real truth is subverted.”