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Illegal Phone Tapping: Company claims to have informed govt.

By Mohit
Reliance Communications Monday filed an affidavit before Supreme Court denying all allegations levelled against it in the Amar Singh illegal phone tapping case. The Anil Ambani promoted telecom company claimed that Joint Commissioner Delhi Police and Deputy Secretary, Home were informed about the tapping of Amar Singh’s phone number but the letter was not replied or responded to.

In the previous hearing of the case, Supreme Court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly had questioned as to whether the concerned officers (Joint Commissioner) were informed of the tapping? Because if he was informed he would have objected in view of the fact that no such request had been made and the case would have come to notice of police at that very time.

The bench had also raised doubts on the company’s credentials for acting on letters having many spelling and grammatical errors and on a communication which prima facie appeared to be a fake document. The letters were later proved to be forged on investigation by special cell of Delhi Police.

Reliance claims to have written a letter to Karnail Singh, Joint Commissioner Delhi Police and Peter Bara, Deputy Secretary (Home) “bringing to their notice number of cases in which no confirmation had been received from the designated authority... in the said letter dated 26.10.2005 the number of the petitioner herein (Amar Singh) was included at S.No.217. This letter was received by the two addressees and yet no reply or response was received.”

The company claims to have discontinued the interception from 05.11.2005 i.e. 15 days after receipt of the first (forged) letter dated 26.10.2005. Reliance in defence stated that if this interception was intentionally done then the interception would not have been discontinued. However they claim to have received authorization order (later proved forged) dated 09.11.2005 from the then Principal Secretary (Home).

It is mentioned that on 29.12.2005 (i.e. two months after RCom’s letter informing about Amar Singh’s number) Jt CP Karnail Singh enquired whether Amar Singh’s number was being intercepted and under what authority. The company claims to have confirmed the same and immediately discontinued the interception which was otherwise to continue for a period of 90 days.

The company in its affidavit has also stated that the said errors were a common phenomenon in the letters they received from the Principal Secretary (Home) of Delhi Government. The company has also annexed photo copies of such letters received which are admittedly genuine and have similar mistakes.

It may be remembered petitioner Amar Singh had first levelled charges against congress party which was in power both in the centre as well as Delhi at the relevant time. However on the previous hearing of the case on 09.02.2011 Amar Singh informed the court his intention to drop charges against Congress party on the ground that after investigations four culprits unrelated to the party have been put to trial. With the company’s affidavit it would now be on the government to do some explaining of its silence in this regard.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani today appeared for Reliance Communication earlier represented by senior counsel CA Sundaram. Additional Solicitor General Indira Jai Singh and Solicitor General appearing for Union of India and Government of NCT of Delhi respectively sought time to reply and two weeks were allowed to each by the court. The case will next be heard on March 8.

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