Gandhinagar/Ahmedabad: The snoopgate case in Gujarat took another twist on Monday, when a police officer refused to accept a complaint filed by suspended Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Kumar against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the state’s former home minister and key aide Amit Shah.

Kumar told media that he had arrived at the police station at around 12.30 p.m. today to file his complaint against Modi and Shah in connection with the case which he sees as a cognizable offence.

He said that the concerned station house officer first refused to accept the complaint and then later said that the matter was already sub judice and had been placed before a central government-appointed inquiry committee for a probe.

Kumar said he had told the police officer that the matter should not be traeted as a simplistic one, and that the snoopgate case’s illegality attracted several sections of the law.

He said that he was left with no alternative but to approach the courts now for justice.

It maybe recalled that two news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed on November 15 that former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah had ordered the illegal surveillance of a woman in the state at the behest of one “saheb”.

Both portals had accessed 267 audio recordings that had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

They said the recordings contain telephone conversations in which Amit Shah, the BJP national general secretary and a close aide of Modi, directing the illegal surveillance of a young woman — christened ‘Madhuri’ by the journalists to protect her identity — in August-September 2009.

Shah had allegedly ordered the intrusive surveillance of the woman at the behest of someone mentioned on the supposed recordings of the event only as “saheb”, whom many commentators have taken to mean was Gujarat Chief Minister Modi.

Meanwhile, the 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, allegedly the “saheb” behind the snooping on a woman in Gujarat, 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 were to be 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.

The Union cabinet had, at its meeting on December 26, approved setting up of a commission of inquiry — to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a former Chief Justice of a high court — to investigate the alleged snooping of a woman by the Gujarat police, directed by then state home minister Amit Shah at the behest of one ‘saheb’, believed to be Modi.

Snoopgate Case: Gujarat Police refuses to file suspended IAS officer’s complaint against Modi

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