Centre asked to reply on YSRCP’s phone tapping

The plea sought necessary action against authorities responsible for unauthorisedly intercepting their telephones

By Author  |  Published: 19th Mar 2019  8:55 pm

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Centre on a plea by some YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leaders and their associates, who claimed that their phones were being tapped and have been placed under “illegal technical surveillance”.

Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued a notice to the Centre through Ministries of Telecommunication and Home Affairs, Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home) of Andhra Pradesh on a plea by former YSRCP MP Y V Subba Reddy and five others, including party chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s personal and political assistants. The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 15. Central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul has said the petitioners had given a representation to the Centre which has been forwarded to the Andhra Pradesh government as the grievance is against the State government.

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In the plea, Reddy has 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 has sought “necessary action under relevant provisions of law against the authorities responsible for unauthorisedly intercepting their telephones”.

The petition has also sought direction to the authorities to forthwith suspend the surveillance. It has said that secretly listening to 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 has 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 seeking an impartial and independent probe into the incident. The authorities have neither replied nor have they taken any action against those involved in the activities, it has claimed.