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State probe finds phones of Cong leaders tapped during Dhumal regime in HP
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, January 12
The interim report of forensic experts into phone-tapping allegations has suggested that telephonic conversations of senior state Congress leaders, BJP dissidents as well as bureaucrats were recorded during the previous regime in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act.

The report, prepared by experts from the State Forensic Science Laboratory at Junga, is ready for submission to the state government.

Sources say these facts have come to the fore during the analysis of data contained in the hard discs of computers seized from the state CID, giving credence to the apprehensions of Congress leaders, especially Virbhadra Singh, while he was in the Opposition camp.

The investigation team has stumbled upon a telephonic conversation of a senior Congress leader recorded by the CID during the BJP regime.

Also, conversations of several BJP dissident leaders, recorded by intercepting their phones at a time when the anti-Dhumal faction was active, have also been detected during the investigation.

Further, conversations of several top bureaucrats and journalists figure prominently in some hard discs.

But there is no evidence of phone tapping by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau for purposes other than detection of crime.

The hard discs of all computers in the CID and Vigilance Bureau offices were seized on December 24 and 26 last year. These were later handed over to the forensic experts for examination. The hard discs may be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh for further examination amid fears that conversations of some prominent Congress leaders recorded earlier may have been deleted. A decision in this regard will be taken after the interim report is submitted to the government.

Under the law, the CID wing of the police is allowed to eavesdrop on telephonic conversations of an individual to track crime related to their case. But a prior permission of the Secretary, Home, is mandatory, failing which the act is perceived to be illegal, as it violates the privacy of an individual. On January 1, the government had constituted a team headed by the Assistant Director, State Forensic Science Laboratory.

Forensic investigation

  • Evidence of phone interception of Congress leaders, bureaucrats and journalists by CID Technical Cell
  • No evidence of interception by Vigilance Bureau for purpose other than tracking crime
  • Interim report of forensic experts ready for submission
  • Some hard discs of the CID may be sent to the CFSL, Chandigarh, to retrieve deleted data.





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