New Delhi, 3 May-2014(PTI): Govt has no ‘constitutional authority to decide on snoopgate probe, says controversial BJP leader Amit Shah. Slamming UPA government’s move on snoopgate probe, Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah today said it had no “moral or constitutional authority” to take decision on it at the fag-end of its tenure.
He blamed Congress’ “dirty tricks department” for the government’s move to appoint a judge to probe allegation of snooping of a young woman in Gujarat before the Lok Sabha poll process comes to an end on May 16.
The illegal surveillance was allegedly done at the behest of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Shah was the Home Minister of the state during that period. There have been allegations that Shah himself was in regular touch with the officials involved in the alleged snooping.
“It is the Congress dirty tricks department which is behind the move to appoint the judge at the fag-end of the government’s tenure,” he said at a press conference here.
Shah alleged that the Manmohan Singh dispensation has “lost constitutional and moral authority” to appoint a judge to conduct the probe “as the government is going”.
“The moral authority of the UPA government has ended. It has no constitutional authority either. Still, if they are doing this, they do not know why their government is going.”
Yesterday, the government had said a judicial commission to probe ‘snoopgate’ allegedly involving Modi will be in place before the Lok Sabha poll process comes to an end on May 16.
The government had decided four months back to set up the inquiry commission but the process got delayed reportedly because of its inability to find a judge, who was ready to take the task.
The government had announced that the Commission, to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired Chief Justice of a high court, will also look into charges of snooping on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh by the previous BJP government when he was in the opposition as well as the leaking of the call data records (CDR) of Jaitley in Delhi.
The Union Cabinet on December 26, 2013 took the decision under the Commissions of Inquiry Act under which the Modi government had already set up a similar panel.
There were reports that as no retired judge was willing to head the probe commission, the UPA government was mulling the option of changing the terms of reference for the commission by incorporating a provision that will allow the government to appoint a sitting judge of a high court.
Shah alleged that the UPA government has conveniently “forgotten” the reports of scams like CWG and Adarsh and was now resorting to such “unconstitutional move”.