Gandhinagar : The ‘snoopgate’ controversy took a new turn on Monday with suspended IAS officer, Pradeep Sharma, claiming that the Gujarat police had refused to entertain a criminal complaint that he wanted to lodge against chief minister Narendra Modi in the state capital on Monday.
Sharma has threatened to seek judicial intervention, if the cops do not heed his plea. Sharma said that he had come to Gandhinagar to file a complaint against Modi, his confidante Amit Shah and an IPS officer who was ordered to carry out ‘illegal surveillance’ on him and a young woman, as already revealed by two internet portals.
Sharma alleged that the police did not entertain his plea despite the fact that his complaint attracted several sections of the law. Claiming that the police was duty bound to register the FIR since he has produced clear evidences of the violation of laws, he made it clear that if the cops did not heed his plea he would approach the courts with his complaint.
The cops, however, took the plea that the matter was already sub judice as two inquiry commissions have been set up, one by the state and another by the Centre. The suspended officer, however, maintains that an issue, which is criminal in nature, calls for a criminal investigation rather than a judicial probe. The ‘snoopgate’ issue came into focus after two portals published transcripts of alleged phone conversations between the former minister of state for home Amit Shah and IPS officer GL Singhal about spying ordered on a young woman, her family and an IAS officer at the behest of ‘saheb’.
Congress has alleged that the ‘sahab’ in these conversation excerpts alludes to the Gujarat chief minister.
Last month, gulail.com said it had accessed more conversations that prove the woman was spied upon by Gujarat officials even in Bangalore, where she stayed. The BJP says the woman’s father, who was known to Modi, was worried about her safety and asked for her to be protected. Last month, a letter from the woman’s father verified that claim, and requested the National Commission for Women to ignore demands for an investigation out of respect for her privacy.
Meanwhile, the UPA government is yet to finalize a judge to head the Snoopgate Commission of Inquiry, approved by the Union Cabinet over a week ago, as there appears to be practical complications in bringing out the panel’s findings ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Given the electoral implications of any adverse findings against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the UPA Government has set a three-month term for the commission.
According to the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, the report of a commission of inquiry has to be tabled in Parliament within six months of its submission to the government, that too with the action taken report (ATR). So, even if the panel’s report is submitted to the government on time, the Union home ministry will have to examine the findings and prepare its ATR. This will obviously take some time, and the report and ATR may be placed in Parliament only under the new dispensation.