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Raje accused of tapping MLA's phones


Swati Vashishta,CNN-IBN
Feb 18, 2009 at 09:01am IST

Jaipur: Just months after she was ousted from power, skeletons seem to be tumbling out of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's closet.

Raje is now battling allegations that she got phones of her own ministers and MLAs tapped illegally.

At least seven service providers including BSNL have written to the state government saying they were asked to tap phones, and in most cases no written orders were issued.

“Not just lapse of procedure but it's a great illegality; the permissions should have come in due course of time. Why these permissions are pending is a matter of probe,” says ADG, Jaipur, Kanhiya Lal Bairwa.

Those whose phones were allegedly intercepted include former minister Kirori Lal Meena, former BJP MLA Surendra Singh Rathore, Gujjar leaders and former BJP MLAs Prahlad Gunjal and Attar Singh Bhadhana.

According to the Indian Telegraph Act, phone calls can be tapped under special circumstances, only with written orders from the state Home Secretary.

If the Home Secretary is not available to do so, an IG rank official can issue an interim order which must then be followed by an order from the Home Secretary within 3 days.

But in at least seven cases a DIG rank official had issued verbal orders. The leaders whose phones were tapped are now demanding a CBI probe into the matter.

Former state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria though denies any knowledge of the phone tapping.

“When I didn't get any files regarding this on my table then how can I say what it is,” Former State Home Minister, Jaipur, Gulab Chand Kataria.

The present Ashok Gehlot government has now ordered an enquiry into the matter. The role of top police officials and the service providers are being investigated.

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