'Phone-tapping equipment on Kejriwal's shopping list'

The Arvind Kejriwal government appears to be in a mood to go shopping for  snooping gadget to add teeth to its Anti-Corruption Branch, said sources on Friday.

An aide of the Chief Minister, however, claimed there was no such proposal.
A note has been finalised by a senior officer to get the Finance Department’s approval for buying latest phone-taping gizmos that would not only be used by investigating agencies but installed in key offices, said a senior official.

The information came on a day when six top bureaucrats, including former Acting Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin, gave applications to proceed on leave, a source said.

On the snooping gadgets, Kejriwal’s media aide Nagendar Sharma tweeted: “There is no proposal by the Delhi government to procure anything called as a snooping equipment and no such cabinet note has been circulated.”

He hinted that rumours were being spread “to falsely show the Delhi government in poor light and defame the ACB”.

The rival BJP latched upon the opportunity to slam the Kejriwal government.
“The revelation of Kejriwal’s decision on snooping is an ultimate proof of his dictatorial working,” said Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay.

The party also announced a demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s house in north Delhi on Saturday over the “Snoopgate Expose”.

‘Dissent not allowed’
Upadhyay said: “In the Kejriwal school of politics there is no scope for opposition or dissent. The Delhi government proposal on buying a large number of snooping apparatus under the garb of anti-corruption campaign is nothing but an effort to lay siege on opponents.”  

The Delhi BJP chief said  under the constitutional provisions on security it is a senior government official who is designated to assess the need and allow phone-tapping but it is amazing that today in Delhi we hear that power to allow snooping will vest with the Chief Minister directly.

BJP National Secretary  R P Singh said that it speaks volumes on Kejriwal government’s mindset that purchase of most essential CCTV apparatus is being held back citing budgetary reasons but the government is trying to move ahead on buying snooping apparatus within weeks of coming to power.

“For this government snooping on opponents is more important than providing security to women and the society through CCTV network,” he said.  

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