Essar Group phone tapping: Supreme Court dismisses ICEGATE’s petition seeking SIT probe

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New Delhi | Published: February 17, 2017 2:22:52 PM

The Supreme Court has today dismissed a petition filed by the NGO ICEGATE which sought SIT probe into the alleged phone tapping of top politicians and bureaucrats by the Essar Group between 2001 and 2006.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by the NGO ICEGATE which sought special investigation team (SIT) probe into the alleged phone tapping of top politicians and bureaucrats. (PTI)The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by the NGO ICEGATE which sought special investigation team (SIT) probe into the alleged phone tapping of top politicians and bureaucrats. (PTI)

The Supreme Court has today dismissed a petition filed by the NGO ICEGATE which sought special investigation team (SIT) probe into the alleged phone tapping of top politicians and bureaucrats by the Essar Group between 2001 and 2006. NGO International Civil Enforcement Group of Anti-Terrorism Ethics (ICEGATE), in a PIL filed in 2014 has sought for the apex court’s direction for an enquiry against top Essar officials over alleged ‘illegal telephone tapping’.

Last year, Supreme Court lawyer, Suren Uppal, filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court seeking for a similar court-monitored enquiry in the issue. Uppal had earlier sent a complaint to the Prime Minister against the alleged tapping of telephonic conversations.

ICEGATE is an NGO which conducts a programme on ‘spreading awareness of impact of terrorism’. The PIL filed by the NGO had mentions of a top Essar official and its former employee Albasit Khan. According to the complaint filed by Suren Uppal, Khan allegedly used to handle the tapping of the VVIP calls for five years.

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Albasit Khan had last year denied his involvement in any phone tapping operation and accused lawyer Suren Uppal of ‘concocting’ the story. The complaints of Uppal, file on June 1 2016, to the Prime Minister, had been forwarded to the Home Ministry for a discreet inquiry but Uppal had clarified that no probe had been initiated on the matter.

However, according to a report by the Indian Express, ICEGATE, whose PIL in the SC was dismissed on grounds of being defective, had no board mentioning the name of the NGO or its vice-president Masood Ahmed, outside its office at 431, Gali Matia Mahal, near Juma Masjid. Even local residents of the area seemed to have least knowledge about the NGO.

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