Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government reportedly admitted before the AP High Court that it had tapped phones of YSR Congress Party leaders. It further stated that this was done under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, it is learnt.
The High Court is said to have directed the state government to file a written counter in this regard. A bench comprising Justices Akula Venkata Sesha Sai and U. Durgaprasad issued these orders in response to a petition lodged by the General Secretary of YSR Congress Party, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy that phones of party leaders were being tapped by the state police at the behest of the ruling TDP. He submitted to the court to spell out the details of YSRCP leaders whose phones were being tapped and sought directions from the court to the Union Home Secretary, Telecommunications Secretary, nodal officer of Vodafone (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions), Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary, and Principal Secretary Home Department.
The senior YSR Congress party leader also sought directions from the Court to the Centre to prosecute DGP Thakur, Principal Secretary (Home) and the DG- Intelligence under the Telegraph Act.
The Court heard the matter on Wednesday and said that apart from the provisions of Section 5 (2) which were clear, the Supreme Court had also spelt out circumstances under which phone tapping was permitted. The Advocate-General is learnt to have responded stating that phone tapping was done as per section 5(2) and that the AP government followed the law in the matter.
The Court asked the government to respond in writing to this and file a counter on the matter. It posted the case for hearing on June 06.