DRI snooped on CBEC chief’s family, tapped his sister’s mobile
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
More than a year after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) denied that it had wrongly tapped the mobile phone of the sister of its boss — Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman S D Majumdar — highly confidential government documents accessed by The Indian Express have confirmed the snooping did indeed take place, and the finance ministry is yet to act against the officials who were responsible.
Reports about the embarrassing incident emerged in June last year — when the furore over the alleged bugging of then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's office was yet to die down. The DRI denied the incident, even though sources in the home ministry said that permission for such snooping had been given — indicating that investigating agencies could be misusing their powers to intercept phones despite repeated directions from the Supreme Court to ensure that all tapping is carried out as per norms.
There has been suspicion in some quarters that rivalries within the organisation may have caused the DRI to put Majumdar's sister's phone under surveillance. Others feel that the entire episode may have just been a genuine mistake.
In a June 23, 2011 note which details the incident, Majumdar had written that the then DRI director-general, R S Sidhu, personally visited Majumdar's office within a fortnight of taking over as DRI chief in April. He was accompanied by three top DRI officials. During this meeting, Sidhu informed Majumdar that "some irregularities in phone-tapping by the Delhi zonal unit of DRI had taken place" and that some of Majumdar's relatives and acquaintances may have been put under electronic surveillance.
According to the document, the DRI first verified telephone numbers provided by Majumdar and within two days confirmed that the mobile phone number of his sister, Dr Sushmita Gupta, a professor in the Department of Ecology of Assam University in Silchar, had been under surveillance since February 2011. Majumdar also noted on the file that some of his acquaintances in Delhi and Kolkata were also under "similar surveillance".
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in ‘friendly fire’