The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the Centre’s response to a petition accusing the Central Bureau of Investigation of illegally tapping National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s phone, PTI reported.
According to advocate Sarthak Chaturvedi – the petitioner – the phones of Doval and several other officers were tapped during the feud between former CBI Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
The High Court issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CBI. “Respondents [MHA and CBI] need to respond to the serious allegations raised by way of public interest litigation,” the bench said, according to The Indian Express.
Chaturvedi has asked the High Court to constitute a Special Investigation Team to look into the alleged abuse of power by some CBI officers “for their ulterior motive”.
He has also claimed that a special unit of the investigating agency that handles phone tapping and technical surveillance was aware of the communications between Doval and Asthana during the latter’s row with Verma. The special unit has placed many numbers on technical surveillance and it is analysing call data records, he alleged.
This special unit, according to the petitioner, is headed by Inspector General Rakesh Rathi, who was reporting to the head of policy division AK Sharma and eventually to Alok Verma, The Indian Express reported.
On October 23, the Centre had relieved both Verma and Asthana of their duties after they traded charges of corruption and interference in several cases. Last week, the Supreme Court reinstated Verma to his post. However, he was sacked once again by a Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel.
The court has listed the matter for hearing on March 26.