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HC asks Centre to give records on allegation of YSR Cong leaders' phone tapping

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre to submit the records, if any, related to alleged tapping of phones of some YSR Congress party leaders and their associates who have filed a plea claiming that they have been placed under "illegal technical surveillance".
Justice Najmi Waziri, who was hearing a plea by the party's former MP Y V Subba Reddy and five others including party chief Jaganmohan Reddy's personal and political assistants, granted time to the Centre to submit the relevant records and listed the matter for further hearing on March 19.
The court made it clear that it was not issuing notice on the petition at this stage.
It said if somebody is under surveillance, the reasons for it have to be covered under the provision of the Telegraph Act.
During the hearing, central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul submitted that he would like to assist the court with reference to the relevant records.
He also said the petitioners had given a representation to the central government which has been forwarded to the state government as the grievance is against the Andhra Pradesh government.
In the plea, Reddy sought the court's direction to authorities, including Ministries of Telecommunication and Home Affairs, Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home) of Andhra Pradesh, and mobile service providers to explain under what circumstances they have been put under technical surveillance.
It sought "necessary action under relevant provisions of law against the authorities, responsible for unauthorisedly intercepting their telephone".
The petition also sought direction to the authorities to forthwith suspend the action of placing them under surveillance.
It said secretly listening or recording a communication in order to get information about other activities is morally wrong and it constitutes a serious invasion of an individual's privacy.
The plea said that a representation was made to the Ministry of Home Affairs in December last year with a request to direct the organisations to forthwith remove the petitioners' numbers from the unauthorised surveillance and also sought an impartial and independent probe into the incident.
The authorities have neither replied nor have taken any action against those involved in the activities, it claimed.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 5:55 PM IST

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