Delhi Police advises MHA to refer case to CBI as probe will have national ramifications

The Google Mapathon case, in which the Internet giant is alleged to have violated India’s ‘National Map Policy’ and jeopardised national security interest, is likely to be handed over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the investigation will have national ramifications.

According to sources in the government, the Delhi Police has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), asking it to refer the matter to the CBI’s cyber crime cell as the contest was a nationwide activity where maps and other key details of strategic installations located in other cities and States might have been passed on to the US-based company. The CBI being a federal investigating agency would be able to carry out the probe more effectively, it was felt. Notably, the Survey of India filed a complaint with the Delhi Police’s R.K. Puram branch last month and it was forwarded to the cyber crime cell.

On the other hand, the Survey of India has written another letter to Google India accusing it of giving false statements regarding a meeting between the two organisations over the issue. Noting that Google took no steps to allay the government’s fears, the Survey of India has again pointed out that their action was “jeopardising the national security.”

On April 17, 2013, the Survey of India wrote to Google, stating: “In your [Google] response to Sh. MI Mallik, Director, Survey (Air) & Delhi GDC, Survey of India, R.K. Puram, New Delhi you have stated that you had a discussion with him, which is false. In fact, neither you nor any of your representatives have met Sh. MI Mallik, Director, Survey (Air) & Delhi GDC nor visited his office.”

“In matters of national security any responsible citizen or agency takes necessary corrective action as suggested by the Government of India agency immediately. Your continued activities with implications leading to compromise of national security are objectionable and could amount to serious offence,” the letter went on to add.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Tarun Vijay, who first took up the matter with Defence Minister AK Antony and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, said he would raise the matter in Parliament next week.

“I have already given a call attention notice in Parliament in this regard and hope [the] government will come out with a statement on this issue that has made the Indian defence and other strategic establishments vulnerable,” he said.

As first reported by The Hindu earlier this month, the Survey of India filed a police complaint on March 25 stating that Google’s “Mapathon 2012 activity is likely to jeopardise national security interest and violates the National Map Policy. Citizens of the country, who are ignorant of the legal consequences, are likely to violate the law of the land.”