‘Prima facie, phone-tapping violates the Telegraph Act’

June 09, 2015 02:04 am | Updated December 03, 2021 12:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Amid a furore over the recording of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu’s telephone conversation with MLA Elvis Stephenson, prima facie the act appears to be in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act, a senior official of the Telecom Ministry told The Hindu .

“Interception is routinely done… However, the licence agreement of the service providers and the Telegraph Act lay down rules when the government can order interception of messages,” another top source at the Telecom Department said.

The Telegraph Act says the Centre or the State governments can intercept messages in case of public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

At such times, the government is empowered to take possession of licensed telegraphs and order interception.

However, the reasons for ordering an interception must be recorded in writing

No request yet

TDP members have said they will take up the matter with the Centre, but the Telecom Ministry has not yet received any such request, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told The Hindu .

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