New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday asked the Union Government to own up responsibility for tapping phones of top leaders, including that of its General Secretary Prakash Karat.
CPM alleged that the government is indulging in such acts to "serve its political purpose."
It also demanded enforcing strict guidelines to prohibit such surveillance.
Referring to reports in a daily on tapping of phone calls of four political leaders including Karat, the party said it was a serious matter and alleged that government was using intelligence agencies to serve its political purpose.
"The report shows that the government is using the intelligence and security agencies to serve its political purpose to spy upon opposition leaders and to keep track of even its own allies and party leaders," party said.
The CPM demanded action against those who ordered the surveillance.
"Such acts subvert the democratic system and breeds an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government. They cannot be tolerated," CPM said.
"Protecting the covert activities of the intelligence and security agencies cannot be made the pretext for a cover-up," party added.
Further, the instructions on tapping of phones and surveillance on grounds of national security or investigation of criminal activity must be codified, the party said, demanding that intelligence and security agencies must be subject to parliament's oversight.
Earlier, Karat described tapping as illegal and intolerable.
"The UPA Government is resorting to the tapping of phones of political leaders which is illegal and intolerable. The government has to own up responsibility and take action against those responsible," Karat said.
On the other hand the Communist Party of India (CPI) said on Saturday that tapping of phones of top political leaders was a "serious assault" on democratic and civil rights.
The party sought an explanation from the Union Government on the issue.
Interacting with media party National Secretary D Raja said the act of telephone tapping deserves to be condemned in strongest terms.
"We are not living in a military regime... We are adopting a democratic system. Under the circumstances, tapping of phones of leaders of political parties is a serious assault on democracy and deserves to be condemned in strongest terms," Raja said.
Raja alleged that the tapping could be used for political purposes. (ANI)