Snoopgate: Panel has no right to probe me, says Ashish Khaitan

Friday, 17 January 2014 - 2:04pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

In an affidavit filed before Justice Sugna Bhatt Commission of inquiry, the editor of the news portals ‘Cobrapost’ and ‘Gulail’ Ashish Khaitan has maintained that the panel has no right to investigate or cross-examine him.

He has also submitted before the commission a copy of the documentary film ‘The Stalkers’ (that exposed the racket) along with 267 phone recordings submitted by GL Singhal to the CBI. In his five-page affidavit before the commission in response to the summons, Khaitan alleged that the commission was meant to shield those who were involved in the episode.

The editor of the portal that brought out these controversial audio recording tapes also alleged that the state government never denied existence of such tapes. “A young lady was forced to come into public eye in the name of surveillance, whereas the state government has never denied existence of such surveillance,” the affidavit read.

“The commission has been mandated to inquire whether the leak of these tapes reveals any conspiracy. The conspiracy lies not in the publication but in the orchestration of security forced maintained,” Khaitan added. Commenting on the issue of ‘discreet security’ to a woman, Khaitan said, “The issue was raised by BJP spokespersons after the expose and similar concerns were raised by the father of the lady in a letter. However, Gujarat government on its part has not issued a single statement till date calling the alleged incident an act of discreet security.”

According to a recent expose by news portals, suspended Gujarat IPS officer GL Singhal, who was arrested and jailed in connection with Ishrat Jahan encounter case of 2004, has submitted hundreds of recorded telephonic conversations to the CBI revealing how three key wings of the Gujarat police — the State Intelligence Bureau, also known as CID Intelligence, the crime branch and the anti-terrorist squad — misused their powers to stalk a young unmarried woman from Bangalore, whose parents lived in Gujarat.

Ashish Khaitan, editor of Cobrapost &, files affidavit before Sugna commission
SC to hear plea challenging panel appointment
On Friday, the Supreme Court will hear two separate petitions. The first one has challenged the appointment of Sugna Bhatt Commission of inquiry and demanded that the investigation be handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The second one has pleaded that even the role of CBI should be investigated in the matter as despite being in possession of tapes about attack on personal life and rights of a young woman, it had remained silent on the issue. Both pleas have been moved by Mumbai-based NGO Kutch Ladayak Manch.

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