New Delhi, Apr 25 (ANI): A day after reports of phone tapping of senior politicians surfaced in the media, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani has demanded enactment of a new legislation to protect citizens' privacy.
In a latest post on his blog, Advani expressed shock over reports in a section of media describing the involvement of government agencies in phone tapping of senior politicians.
"It is a shocking report describing how the Government of India has been making use of the latest phone tapping technology to prepare records of telephonic conversations of prominent political leaders," Advani said.
On Saturday, a section of the media reported that government agencies have been tapping the telephones of Bihar Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat and Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
In his post, titled 'Is the Emergency back,' Advani demanded to scrap the outdated Telephone Act and to bring a new legislation to protect citizens' privacy.
"What is really required in this context is to set up a parliamentary committee on the lines of the Birkett Committee in Britain to examine all aspects of the problem, scrap the outdated Indian Telephone Act of 1885 and replace it by a new legislation which forbids invasion of an ordinary citizens' privacy," Advani said.
He said a new law should formally recognise the right of the State to use the latest IT devices of interception to deal only with crime, subversion and espionage.
Advani said the law must provide statutory safeguards which make it impossible for the Government to abuse its powers against political activists and journalists.
Advani's blog mentioned many incidents of phone tapping in the past including a press conference of June 25, 1985, on the 10th anniversary of Emergency by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said Vajpayee had then referred to large-scale phone tapping that was done during the 19 months of Emergency. (ANI)