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SC slams Congress govt in Chhattisgarh for tapping the phones of a senior IPS officer and his family members

The SC sought a detailed affidavit clarifying who ordered the surveillance and the reasons behind it

The Supreme court on Monday slammed the Chhattisgarh Congress government for its involvement in tapping the phones of a senior IPS officer, Mukesh Gupta and his family members.

Taking serious note of the issue the bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee said: “What is the need to do like this? No privacy is left for anybody. What is happening in this country.”

Hearing the case of alleged phone tapping of Indian Police Service officer, the apex court reprimanded the Chhattisgarh government asking them as to whether the right to privacy of a person can be violated like this. “Who ordered this phone tapping?” the bench asked the state authorities, seeking a detailed affidavit clarifying who ordered the surveillance and the reasons behind it.

In October, the top court had asked the state police to refrain from arresting or “unduly harassing” the senior police official, Mukesh Gupta.

The apex court also objected to a separate first information report (FIR) that had been filed against a lawyer representing Gupta. It stayed the inquiry against Mahesh Jethmalani and said that no coercive measures should be taken against him until further orders.

The Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh had directed Gupta’s lawyer, Jethmalani not to politicise the matter by including the chief minister’s name in the parties involved. It ordered that Baghel’s name be removed from the memo of respondents in the plea.

On February 9, two IPS officers, including one Rajnesh Singh, who was the superintendent of police in Narayanpur at that time and Mukesh Gupta who was then special deputy general of police were suspended after the Economic Offences Wing registered a report against them for alleged criminal conspiracy.

They were also accused of illegally tapping phones during the Civil Supplies Corporation scam investigations in 2015.

Gupta and Singh were charged with providing false evidence and tampering with the proof, and forgery, among other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Gupta had, however, refuted all the allegations, and claimed the inquiry was done according to the law.

The court had through an interim order on September 2, 2019, stayed three FIRs against Gupta filed by the state. It had also sent a notice to the state government and the chief minister.

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