CMO dismisses reports on draft bill permitting phone tapping without nod


Pinarayi Vijayan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid widespread criticism, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office on Friday dismissed as "baseless" the media reports that a draft bill, allowing police to spy any communication without waiting for the permission of the competent authority to check organised crimes, is under the consideration of the government.

"There is no file at the government level in this regard. The reports, circulating in connection with this, are baseless," a CMO statement said here.

The CMO, however, said suggestion for an effective legislation to check organised crimes have come up from various quarters and a four-member committee have been appointed to examine the proposals received in this regard.

The Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Law Secretary, and former additional advocate general K K Raveendranath were the members of the government-appointed panel, it said.

The Chief Minister's office also made it clear that there would not be any intervention from the part of the Left government over the rights of citizens, enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

No such proposal would be be accepted by the government, it added.

According to a media report, the controversial draft bill proposes that an officer at the rank of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) can give official permission for an investigating officer to intercept wire, electronic or oral communication during an emergency situation to curb an organised crime.

The report also said that a panel, headed by Chief Secretary, would scrutinise the Bill soon.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress already came out against the CPI(M)-led LDF government over the alleged draft bill.

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted that the bill was "unconstitutional".

"Kerala Control of Organised Crimes Bill allowing post-facto approval of Phone Tapping with a 48 hours lag is Unconstitutional. Files in the face of 1996 SC Judgement in PUCL VS UOI, Rule 419-A of Telegraph Rules, Section 69 of IT Act & 2009 IT Interception Rules," he said.

PTI

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