Maharashtra Government on Friday formed a three-member committee headed by Director General of Police to probe phone tapping cases during 2015-19 and fix the responsibility. The two members included the Commissioner (State Intelligence) and additional commissioner of police (special branch).
According to the government resolution issued by the home department deputy secretary Shirish Mohod, the committee will examine whether the phones of political leaders were tapped or kept under surveillance with political motives during the BJP rule between 2015 and 2019. The committee will have to fix the responsibility on those who were found involved in phone tapping. The committee has been asked to submit a report in three months.
The government has formed the committee as the home minister Dilip Walse-Patil on July 6 in the state assembly had announced that an inquiry will be done into phone tapping after the issue was raised by the former speaker Nana Patole.
Patole had told the house that his phone was tapped under the pretext of exposing drug trafficking. "My phone number was tapped by wrongly showing that it belonged to one Amjad Khan. Linking my name to drug trafficking is condemnable. Who allowed it and for what? This is a crime and infringement of an individual's privacy," he claimed.
Patole accused the previous BJP-led government of phone tapping and sought to know whether phone tapping decision was taken at the Chief Minister’s level.
Water Resource Minister Jayant Patil demanded to know how many legislators were under surveillance while Patole sought to know if the phone tapping was conducted under whose instructions.
Walse-Patil had explained the procedure of phone tapping wherein the state intelligence commissioner needs to provide the name, number and reasons for the surveillance while seeking permission from the additional chief secretary of the Home department.