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TN orders probe into chief secy phone tap

Hugely embarrassed by a newspaper report, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident, reports GC Shekhar.
Hindustan Times | By GC Shekhar, Chennai
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2008 01:55 AM IST

Hugely embarrassed by a newspaper report that the state police was tapping even the chief secretary’s phone, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

The English daily had published transcripts of a conversation between Chief Secretary LK Tripathi and the ADGP Vigilance about the handling of a corruption case against former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her Kodanadu estates in Ooty. The report reconfirmed its earlier report, published three months ago, that the police were unauthorisedly tapping phones of select politicians and journalists.

Without refuting that the chief secretary’s phone was tapped Karunanidhi told the Assembly today that there was nothing controversial about the conversation the senior bureaucrat had with the police official. “There was nothing illegal or improper in that conversation,” Karunanidhi said virtually admitting that the contents of the transcripts were true.

“However a retired High Court judge would probe how the conversation found its way to the newspaper and who gave it to them,” he told the House. He also said that modern technology allowed anyone to tap phone conversations.

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