Shanmugham Commission of Inquiry to go into phone tapping

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Chennai, Apr 16 (UNI) A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi announced a judicial probe into the telephone tapping episode, the State Government today appointed retired High Court Judge Justice P Shanmugham as the one-man Commission of Inquiry.

An official release here said that in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, the Governor appointed Mr Justice Shanmugham as the one-man Commission of Inquiry.

The Commission would complete its inquiry and submit its report to the Government within three months.

The terms of reference of the Commission included probing the origin of the alleged transcript which appeared in an English daily on April 14 regarding the overhearing and recording of the telephonic conversation between Chief Secretary L K Tripathy and the DVAC Director ADGP S K Upadhyay. It would also go into the source, the agency responsible for the said news item and also on tapping of the telephonic conversation, if any, the release said.

The Commission would also recommend to the Government specific civil/criminal action to be initiated against the person or agency or both responsible for the alleged transcript and tapping, it said.

The release said the State Government found it necessary to appoint a Commission of Inquiry as it was a matter of public importance.

The alleged phone tapping of the Chief Secretary's conversation with regard to a pending case against AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa had rocked the State Assembly yesterday, with the Government ordering a judicial probe into the issue.

Justifying the conversation between Mr Tripathy and the DVAC Director, Mr Karunanidhi had said even if the published transcript was true, it was not anti-national.

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