Govt may order inquiry into Gujarat snooping, indicates Shinde

Sushil Kumar ShindeSushil Kumar Shinde

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde hinted at the government ordering a Commission of Inquiry into alleged snooping on a woman in Gujarat allegedly at the behest of BJP leader Amit Shah, even as the ministry sought opinion of the law ministry on sending a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court to probe into allegations against Justice (retd) A K Ganguly for his removal as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

Speaking on possibility of setting up a Commission, Shinde said several organisations working for women and NGOs had given representations to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a probe into the alleged "snooping". "My department is examining them. There are some formalities that have to be completed. It should not happen or look as if we are taking a haphazard decision against a party. Hence, our department is going into details and once that is done, very soon we will take a decision," he said.

A Commission of Inquiry will have independence as well as adequate powers to seek official documents and call people for questioning, sources said. A probe by such a Commission is considered more credible than a normal police probe. Two news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed November 15 that Amit Shah ordered illegal surveillance on a woman in Gujarat at the behest of "one saheb". They released taped conversation purportedly between Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim but said the authenticity of the tape could not be confirmed.

The BJP, however, dismissed the snooping charges. "The much-talked about snooping incident is baseless. Neither the woman nor her father has complained, but Congress appears more rattled. This (law and order) is a state subject and any intervention from the central government will be unconstitutional. We warn the Congress against it," BJP deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

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