PIL filed in High Court over phone tapping allegations

Petitioner seeks ‘independent’ probe

N.N. Grace, a resident of Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam, district filed a PIL in the High Court on Monday praying for an independent inquiry by a special investigation team of the CBI into the alleged tapping of phones belonging to some judges of the High Court and advocates who are arguing various cases against the State government. It is likely to be heard on August 18 (Tuesday) .

Petitioner’s counsel J. Sravan Kumar said the action (tapping/keeping phones of the judges and advocates under surveillance) of the respondents (Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary-Home and the Director-General of Police) is in violation of the Telegraph Act, 1885, guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in People’s Union for Civil Liberties V/s Union of India and the fundamental right of privacy embodied under Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

The court has been requested to direct the CBI SP in Visakhapatnam, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Internet Service Providers’ Association and CEOs of BSNL, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone-Idea and Airtel not to accept requests by any government agency for tapping the phone of any person except in accordance with procedures established by law.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Departments of Telecommunications, Information Technology and Information & Broadcasting are among the respondents in the case.

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