Home Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said that the Government was against ‘intercepting’ telephones of people’s representatives, public workers and political opponents.
Replying to questions in the Assembly on Monday in connection with the complaints that the police was indulging in phone tapping, the Minister said the Government had made its stand clear on the issue and categorically stated that it can be done only legally.
Pointing out that intercepting telephone was done in compliance with the law, Mr. Radhakrishnan said it is done in matters pertaining to sovereignty, national integration, crime prevention and to maintain public order under Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraphic Act 1885 and Section 69 of the IT Act 2000.
The Home Minister ruled out a judicial inquiry demanded by T. V. Rajesh, Elamaram Karim and others into the issue of phone tapping and said the present government was following only what the successive governments in the state was adopting since 1957.
On the statement of the NSS general secretary that the telephones of KPCC president, Ramesh Chennithala were being tapped as per the directive of the Home Minister, Mr. Radhakrishnan said ‘after all he is our president and he had not complained to me nor others or to any police official till date’.
Mr. Karim said a house was taken on lease by the police at Mannamoola in the capital and was being used for tapping the telephones by installing a machine. The Home Minister said the Union Government had banned the use of the machine that can intercept 1000 telephones and the communication had reached the State before the present Government took over on May 18, 2011.
“There is no need for any apprehension on intercepting telephone. The Government will not do it. If there is any complaint, we are ready for a probe by a top police official”, he assured the members.
The House witnessed noisy scenes as the Opposition insisted on the number of telephones being intercepted and wanted to know why the Government was not filing an affidavit in the case on phone tapping in the High Court. The Home Minister said the Government cannot disclose the telephones being intercepted.