Centre may order inquiry into phone tapping allegations

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New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): The Union Government is likely to order a full-fledged inquiry into recent allegations of phone-tapping of senior politicians.

Sources said the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO), alleged to have intercepted phone calls, was not authorized by the Government to conduct such observations.

They added that the Government would investigate whether an agency other than the NTRO may also be included.

Eight police forces, apart from Central agencies have access to phone-tapping equipments.

The NTRO came under severe criticism after a section of media revealed phone tapping by this agency.

The NTRO is government's technical intelligence gathering agency, reports to the National Security Advisor (NSA).

Earlier in the week, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said he had discussed the matter with Prim Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Government would bring the NTRO under a ministry.

Chidambaram also stressed that while the government had not sanctioned phone-tapping, he would look into unauthorised interceptions.

He, however, stated that in some cases, the government is "entitled to intercept such conversations if they relate to tax evasion or any commercial transaction which deserves to be investigated."

Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had argued that mere suspicion of tax evasion couldn't be equated with 'public safety' and 'public emergency' - the only two situations that llow the government to intercept messages. (ANI)

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