CBEC chief's sister's phone tapped

A Home Ministry official said that the Ministry had cleared the request of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for tapping the telephone of the sister of Majumder, who lives in Assam, last year as part of a bunch of numbers for interception.

However, the official said no request for tapping the phones of chief of Central Board of Customs and Excise Majumder and his friend were made by the DRI to the Home Ministry.
A newspaper had reported that phones of Majumder, his sister and one of his friends were tapped by the DRI following which he had raised the issue with the head of DRI whose officials allegedly carried out the interception.

The then DRI chief Vijaylakshmi Sharma had denied that such an incident had taken place.

The Home Ministry official said once the DRI had taken permission, it never came back to the Ministry. "We presume the phones were tapped for 15 days," the official said. Meanwhile, the BJP jumped into the controversy to take pot shots at the government saying that "tapping and bugging" are becomming the order of the day.

"It is obvious that this government is operating under the shadow of suspicion, doubt and conspiracy," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

"It is indeed a sorry state of affairs as it appears that this government is adrift. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing and the BJP has started the reverse counting of this regime," he said.

Prasad said even as the heat generated over the alleged bugging of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office is yet to die-down, the issue of alleged phone tapping of CBEC Chairman points out that the government is now "spying" on its officers and not sparing them too.

On the issue of alleged "bugging" of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office, he said, "It seems the FM did not have faith on the Home Minister and thus chose to write to Prime Minister. After ten months his secret letter is made public in order to defame either the FM or the PM or both as it indicates that someone seems to be conspiring to defame both".

"It appears that there may be some vacancy at the top slot."On reported clarifications given by the government in this regard terming the phone tapping as "the handiwork of some rogue elements in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence", Prasad said, "It is indeed a sorry state of affairs in the UPA".

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