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BJP seeks clarification from UPA govt on phone tapping

Kolkata: BJP on Tuesday sought a clarification from the UPA government at the Centre on alleged tapping of over one lakh telephones across the country, describing it as a “cause of grave concern”.

Stating that this amounted to misuse of power, opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said “The government has to confirm that tapping is being done on consideration of security and also state how many phones are being tapped”.

“Today on the basis of a case in the Supreme Court, media reports said that one lakh phones are being tapped in the country”, he told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of National office-bearers of the party.

“It is a cause of grave concern…the country’s law states that tapping can be done in extreme cases like security considerations or in case of a serious crime”, Jaitley said.

Claiming that the alleged number of tapped phones was higher than even in police states, Jaitley sought an authoritative clarification from the central government on the issue.

“The figure is so large that it is frightening and phones are tapped simultaneously by the Centre and the states. We would like to know the exact number of phones being tapped and the ground on which they are being tapped”, he said.

Pointing out that misuse of power was taking place, Jaitley said “for consequences of what is being done, it is important that the government comes out with a clarification”.

BJP leader L K Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, Chhattishgarh chief minister Raman Singh and Jaitley are here for attending the meet.

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