NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the Centre’s response on a plea seeking setting up of an SIT to investigate alleged illegal tapping of the phone of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CBI, seeking their responses on the plea.
The petition claimed that the phones of several others were also tapped during the feud between then CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
The petition by Sarthak Chaturvedi, an advocate, has alleged that the illegal act of abuse of power was committed by some public servants working in the agency with ulterior motives. It claimed that a special unit of the CBI, which handles phone tapping and technical surveillance, was aware of communications between the NSA and Asthana during the latter’s feud with Verma.
The former CBI director was removed on January 10 by a high-level panel headed by the prime minister.
Chaturvedi’s petition said the issue of tapping of the phones was revealed in an application filed in the Supreme Court by CBI DIG Manish Sinha, who was investigating an FIR registered against Asthana.
The plea also added that Sinha’s application, which disclosed several crucial facts of an ongoing investigation and “commission of cognisable offence of abuse of powers by public servants”, was published on a news website.
“Who gave permission to tap the phone of the National Security Advisor? How can these facts come to light in public domain? This is very dangerous for the country,” senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for Chaturvedi, contended in court.
The petition said that even the phones of special secretary, RAW, and the law secretary were put under surveillance, and sought setting up of a special investigation team. The petitioner also sought framing of comprehensive guidelines on tracing, tapping and surveillance of phone calls, along with preparation of stocks and accountability of officials.