Phone-tapping: Govt wants 3 days for nod

Published on Jan 31, 2006 05:53 PM IST

Centre has asked all the states to reduce the period for taking permission for interception of calls from 15 days to three days.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

In a bid to streamline procedure in the wake of the controversy over phone-tapping, Centre has asked all the states to reduce the period for taking permission for interception of calls from 15 days to three days.

The directive is part of its report prepared in response to the Supreme Court directive issued on January 24 seeking a reply within two weeks on a petition filed by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh demanding a judicial inquiry into the alleged tapping of his telephone and laying down of guidelines for interception of calls.

"We are preparing the report and it will be submitted within two weeks as directed by the Apex Court," senior Home Ministry officials said in New Delhi.

Observing that it was not possible to altogether stop intercepting calls, which is one of the main source of information for intelligence and security agencies, to track terrorists, the sources said the government has already taken various steps to ensure to avoid any repetition of the incident of tapping on "forged letter of approval" like in Singh's case.

The Ministry has asked the security as well as government agencies to take an approval within three days from the Home Secretary for interception of any call against the 15 days available now for taking such permission.

The Ministry has also asked the state government to follow the same guideline at their level, they said.

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