‘Grateful’ for Snoop, Woman Moves Court against Inquiries
The woman who was tailed by police allegedly on the orders of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has moved the Supreme Court along with her father for restraining the Centre and state government from going ahead with their Commissions of Inquiry into snoopgate.
A Bench comprising Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice N V Ramana on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and the Gujarat government, seeking their response on the joint-petition which also sought a direction to restrain the media from publishing and airing news about the controversy.
While asking the government to reply by Friday, the Bench said it couldn’t pass an interim order without hearing the parties.
The court also requested the media not to make public the name of the woman.
A controversy broke out last year when two news portals released CDs of purported telephonic conversations between Modi’s aide Amit Shah, who was then the state Home Minister, and two police officers relating to snooping on the woman in 2009.
The conversations that took place between August and September 2009 don’t specifically name Modi but refers to a ‘saheb’, which the portals claimed was the Gujarat Chief Minister at whose behest the snooping was done, a charge denied by Shah.
After the Gujarat government constituted an inquiry commission in November, the Cabinet decided to follow suit. However, another controversy erupted last week when the Centre said the name of the judge to head the commission would be announced soon.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the two, submitted that despite no complaint being filed by the woman and her father, their rights were invaded by various persons for extraneous reasons.
“I was satisfied with the safety measures taken by the Gujarat government when my live was under threat and when I am not complaining about what happened in 2009, there is a sinister campaign to target my reputation and that of my family,” Kumar submitted on behalf of them.
The petitioners also objected to Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Pradeep Sharma’s demand for a CBI probe into the row.
They expressed surprise that both the governments went ahead with their decisions to set up Commissions of Inquiry even after knowing that the woman, “who is now happily married”, had approached the National Commission for Women and the Gujarat State Commission for Women.
They also submitted that the “malicious campaign” had led them to change their house four times in a few months.