Even though there has been little headway in investigations into the infamous 'telephone tapping' case, the state forensic laboratory is said to have submitted its second report to the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau.
“We have just received the report and its contents are being examined,” a senior officer of the vigilance and anti-corruption and bureau said on Friday evening.
After forensic experts had submitted their first report in connection with the case last year, the vigilance bureau had asked the forensic laboratory to clarify on the number of telephones that were allegedly snooped during the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.
Vigilance sleuths had asked the forensic laboratory to have a relook at the findings in its first report. They had also asked forensic experts to examine a pen drive and compact audio disc that were recovered from the cupboards of the police's crime investigation department (CID).
The pen drive and compact disc allegedly contain conversations of Congress leaders, government functionaries and journalists that were recorded in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act. The vigilance and anti-corruption bureau had registered a first information report (FIR) in the case in June 2013. But no one has been named in the FIR so far.
The bureau is investigating into the motive behind storing the conversations in the compact disc and pen drive. The report will also unravel the time and durations of the telephonic conversations recorded in the compact disc. “It's certain that the forensic laborotary will lend impetus to the ongoing investigations,” said another official who did not wish to be named.
In October 2013, the forensic laboratory had submitted its voluminous report to the vigilance bureau, on the phone numbers and conversations found in the hard disc of eight computers that were seized from the offices of the technical cell of the CID and the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau.
Virbhadra Singh, soon after becoming the CM in December 2012, had ordered seizures of the computers, following which the state government had constituted a three-member team of forensic scientists to analyse the hard disc's data. The team was headed by assistant director Vishewar Sharma; Rajat Chaudhary and Jagjit Singh were the other two members.
Taking into the account the report, vigilance sleuths had also questioned director general of police (home guards) ID Bhandhari, who then headed the CID wing; former DGP B Kamal Kumar, who had a short stint in the CID, was also questioned.
The previous report had revealed that till December 2012, 1,385 phones were tapped. The bureau had expressed doubts over the figures and asked forensic experts to give more clarity.