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'There Are Adequate Guidelines Under Law to Govern Phone Surveillance': Delhi HC Dismisses PIL

Karan Tripathi
8 July 2019 12:36 PM GMT
There Are Adequate Guidelines Under Law to Govern Phone Surveillance: Delhi HC Dismisses PIL
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Delhi High Court dismissed a writ petition seeking guidelines to be given for tracing, tapping and surveillance of phones by law enforcement agencies. The court cited that there are adequate guidelines in place to govern the same. The petition was moved by Advocate Sarthak Chaturvedi who claimed that there have been instances of abuse of power by CBI officers while conducting tapping,...

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Delhi High Court dismissed a writ petition seeking guidelines to be given for tracing, tapping and surveillance of phones by law enforcement agencies.

The court cited that there are adequate guidelines in place to govern the same.

The petition was moved by Advocate Sarthak Chaturvedi who claimed that there have been instances of abuse of power by CBI officers while conducting tapping, tracing and surveillance of phone calls and a Special Investigation Team shall be set up to inquire about the same.

However, the Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shanker noted under there are enough guidelines under Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act and Rule 419A of the Telegraph Rules which govern the process of tracing, tapping and surveillance of phone calls. The court also considered the affidavit filed by the central government to mention that Standing Operating Procedures are already in policy and all the decisions are taken with confidence of high ranking officers. The central government had also informed the court that the interceptions were destroyed by the relevant competent authority every six months, unless these were likely to be required for functional requirement.

Therefore, the court saw no reason to interfere with the present procedure or issue guidelines. Additionally, it also dismissed the demand for constituting a Special Investigation Team.  

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