CPI-M asks government to own up phone tapping
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) today asked the government to admit tapping the telephones of four top political leaders and sought action against those who ordered the alleged surveillance.delhi Updated: Apr 24, 2010 14:06 IST
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Saturday asked the government to admit tapping the telephones of four top political leaders and sought action against those who ordered the alleged surveillance.
"The government must own up responsibility in the matter and take action against those who ordered the surveillance. Protecting the covert activities of the intelligence and security agencies cannot be made the pretext for a cover-up," the CPI-M said in a statement.
The party was reacting to a report in the news magazine Outlook that said the government was tapping the telephones of CPI-M leader Prakash Karat, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
"The report shows that the government is using the intelligence and security agencies to serve its political purpose to spy upon opposition leaders and to keep track of even its own allies and party leaders," it said.
The CPI-M said acts like phone interception cannot be tolerated as they "subvert the democratic system and breed an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government".
The party said the government should place in parliament a clear set of guidelines prohibiting the use of intelligence and security agencies in any form of surveillance of political leaders.
"Instructions on tapping of phones and surveillance on grounds of national security or investigation of criminal activity must be codified. The intelligence and security agencies must be subject to parliamentary oversight," it said.
The CPI-M had withdrawn its legislative support to the earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime in 2009 over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.