Phone tapping illegal, govt should take action: Left

Phone tapping illegal, govt should take action: Left

The CPI(M) and CPI demanded action against those who allegedly ordered the interception of phones of top political leaders including Prakash Karat, with the former seeking guidelines to prohibit surveillance of leaders.

The CPI(M) demanded that intelligence bodies be brought under Parliamentary oversight and surveillance on grounds of national security and criminal activity be codified.
The parties were reacting to reports in a leading news magazine about alleged tapping of phone calls of four political leaders including CPI(M) General Secretary Karat.
Asking the government to own up responsibility and take action against those who ordered the surveillance, it said the report showed that the government was using the intelligence and security agencies "to serve its political purpose to spy upon opposition leaders and to keep track of even its own allies and party leaders"

"Such acts subvert the democratic system and breeds an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government. They cannot be tolerated," the CPI(M) said.
To ensure that such illegal acts "do not recur", the government should place in Parliament a clear set of guidelines prohibiting the use of intelligence and security agencies for any form of surveillance of political leaders and their activities, it said.
The CPI Central Secretariat said the report was "shocking" and reflected only the tip of the ice-berg. It said the tapping allegedly by the National Technical Research Organisation was carried out "on behalf of the government, obviously with the instructions from political bosses".

"Instead of gathering information about the activities of anti-nationals, smugglers, terrorists and tax evaders, the government is misusing its power to tap the conversation of political leaders in order to prolong its political survival", the CPI said.
Describing it as "unethical, unconstitutional and most shameful act" on part of the government, it said the alleged tapping also went against the directives of the Supreme Court.

It demanded that the government should release the list of those political leaders whose phones were tapped and take action against those responsible.

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