Court seeks Tamil Nadu government’s response in phone-tapping scandal

November 20th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 20 (IANS) The Madras High Court Thursday ordered the Tamil Nadu government, including Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathy, to respond in three weeks in the case of telephone tapping of media and politicians.The division bench comprising Chief Justice A.K. Ganguly and Ibrahim Khalifullah heard a petition of G.K. Mani, PMK legislative party leader, who demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the phone tapping.

Mani inforrmed the court that the administration had not complied with its orders in three cases involving the same issue earlier. The high court bench then asked the government to file its affidavits within three weeks.

On Nov 14, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi told the state assembly that he had rejected the recommendations of a one-man commission to prosecute leading English and Tamil language journalists over a phone-tapping scandal. The episode involved a currently suspended senior police official, S.K. Upadhyay, and former cabinet minister A.A. Poongothai.

Upadhyay was also said to have been involved in another phone conversation with former chief secretary L.K. Tripathy on a case relating to Kodanandu estate, owned by former chief minister J. Jayalalitha.

A private television channel owned by PMK founder S. Ramadoss’s kin followed it up, carrying snatches of other conversations, and alleged the tapping was done by the intelligence department of the state police.

While Poongothai resigned, Tripathy was allowed to retire.

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