HC twist to phone tapping, issues notices to CBI, Jio, etc

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court gave a sensational twist to the ongoing phone tapping controversy and issued notices to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the telecom service providers. The court asked the respondents to give their replies within four weeks. The notices were sent to Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, etc.The ongoing hearing in HC on tapping case created a lot of curiosity in the political and legal circles in the State.

The respondents were asked to give their responses on phone tapping allegations either personally or through their advocates. In all, the court issued notices to over 16 respondents. Interestingly, the High Court has also issued notice to the All India Internet Service Providers’ Association.

Originally, the petitioner appealed to the court to order an inquiry by an experts’ team of the CBI to bring out the facts in the phone tapping. But the court has chosen to first get details from the service providers respectively. Legal experts say that this would now put the onus on Reliance, Airtel and other companies also to come clean on at what level they received instructions if phone tapping allegations were true.

Once the replies were placed before the HC, it would be possible for the court to have an understanding on the serious nature of allegations and facts relating to the tapping of the phones of judges. The petitioner has alleged that the present Government in AP was placing a close surveillance on the movements of judges in utter disregard for the judiciary.

BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao has said the Centre will not probe the phone tapping issue. The HC has also taken serious note of such statements.

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