Snoopgate probe likely to get a quiet burial

A file photo of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju. Mr. Rijiju had said that the “politically-motivated” decision to set up a commission to probe the snoopgate issue will be reviewed by the NDA government.   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

The UPA government’s controversial move to order a probe into the snoopgate issue may get a quiet burial with the Union Home Ministry expected to move the Cabinet soon to abandon the plan.

A note will be presented before the Union Cabinet to scrap the December 26, 2013, order to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the charges of surveillance of a young woman in 2009 in Gujarat, official sources said.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has already indicated that the “politically-motivated” decision to set up the inquiry commission will be reviewed by the NDA government.

The BJP had strongly opposed the controversial move by the Manmohan Singh government and demanded that the probe be stopped as a parallel inquiry had been ordered into the matter by Gujarat government.

The UPA government’s >decision to set up the inquiry triggered a political row as the snoopgate issue was alleged to have involved Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister.

It was announced that the commission, to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court, would also look into charges of snooping on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh by the previous BJP government when he was in the opposition as well as the leaking of the call data records of Arun Jaitley, now Union Finance Minister, in Delhi.

The Union Cabinet had taken its decision on the probe under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, which the Gujarat government, too, had used to set up a similar panel.

Reports suggest that as no retired judge was willing to head the probe commission, the >UPA government had to abandon the plan to appoint the same, days before the Lok Sabha election results were announced.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 4:30:37 PM |

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