TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu writes to PM Modi on ‘phone tapping’

N. Chandrababu Naidu has written a letter to the Prime Minister highlighting the alleged tapping of phones of Opposition party leaders, lawyers, journalists, activists in violation of their fundamental rights.   | Photo Credit: T. Vijaya Kumar

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate immediate and stern action against the alleged “phone tapping” by the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and private persons in Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Naidu wrote a letter to Mr. Modi on Monday highlighting the alleged tapping of phones of Opposition party leaders, lawyers, journalists, activists and violation of fundamental rights.

In the letter, the former Chief Minister charged the ruling party had been “illegally and unlawfully tapping the phones” of any person or institution raising their voice against the functioning of the government. It appeared that the YSRCP had now even targeted the “judiciary as it is facing hurdles from the judiciary,” he alleged.

Telephone tapping as per the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 [Section 5(2)] and the Information Technology Act, 2000 [Section 69], could be done only in the case of threat to national security or in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, threat to friendly relations with foreign countries. Further, Section 5(2) of Indian Telegraph Act and Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 were violated by this government as there was no reason as per the above acts to tap the phones of leaders of Opposition parties, advocates, journalists and social activists, Mr. Naidu said. Thus, it directly stood against Articles 19 and 21 of fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution, wherein the right to privacy was violated. “It appears that the YSRCP-led government has been tapping phones illegally for its own political gains,” he alleged.

Such acts by the government or private persons, if unrestrained, would lead to the destruction of institutions that were built painstakingly over a period of time. In the long run, such “nefarious activities” would result in the breakdown of democratic values and freedom of speech leading to “ jungle raj”. Therefore, it would be appropriate to order an enquiry by a competent body of the government of India in order to check the “illegal acts of phone tapping” in Andhra Pradesh, he added.

Mr. Naidu marked a copy of the letter to Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 12:16:51 AM |

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