Govt hints at panel to probe snoop case; BJP fumes

Govt hints at panel to probe snoop case; BJP fumes

The Centre may constitute a commission of inquiry into the snooping on a woman by Gujarat Police allegedly at the behest of Amit Shah, a close confidant of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, triggering an angry reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Home Ministry is examining the matter after President Pranab Mukherjee forwarded a complaint by 45 women activists, who demanded a proper probe into the incident.

“My department is examining them. There are also some formalities that have to be completed. It should not happen or look like as if we are taking a haphazard decision against a party. Hence, our department is going into details and once that is done, very soon we will take a decision on that,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters.

Two news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, claimed on November 15 that Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman in Gujarat at the behest of one "saheb". They had released purported taped conversation between Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim.

If the ministry finds merit in the case, it will approach the Cabinet for approval. After the Cabinet clears it, the government may ask the Supreme Court to spare one of its sitting judges or a retired judge to head the commission. A commission of inquiry will have independence as well as adequate powers to seek official documents and call people for questioning, sources said.

Reacting to Shinde’s remarks, the BJP condemned such a move, saying that it would be violative of the Constitution and warned the Congress against such “dirty action” after it faced a “shameful rout” in the recent Assembly polls.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the “matter is a law and order issue, which is a state subject and any interference by the Centre will be against” the Constitution.
"We warn the government of India against such dirty actions. Narendra Modi is our prime ministerial candidate. His popularity is at a new high. Recently, the Congress faced a shameful rout in Assembly polls. Now, please don't adopt such dirty methods," he said.

Addressing a function after laying the foundation stone of Data Centre and Main Office building of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) in south Delhi, Shinde said the government has ensured that there was no repeat of 26/11 type attack.

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