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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

Gujarat Snoopgate: Home ministry to move Union Cabinet to abandon probe

NEW DELHI: The previous UPA government’s controversial move to order a probe into the ‘Snoopgate’ affair may get a quiet burial with the Home ministry expected to move the Union Cabinet soon to abandon the plan.

A note will be presented before the Union Cabinet to scrap the December 26, 2013, order to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the charges of surveillance of a young woman in 2009 in Gujarat, official sources said. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had already indicated that the “politically-motivated” decision to set up the inquiry commission would be reviewed by the NDA government.

BJP had strongly opposed the controversial move by the then Manmohan Singh government and demanded that the probe be stopped as a parallel inquiry had been ordered into the matter by Gujarat government. The UPA government’s decision to set up the inquiry triggered a political row as the ‘Snoopgate’ affair was alleged to have involved Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister.

It was announced that the commission, to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired chief justice of a high court, would also look into charges of snooping on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh by the previous BJP government when he was in the opposition as well as the leaking of the call data records of Arun Jaitley, now Union Finance Minister, in Delhi.

The Union Cabinet had taken its decision on the probe under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, which the Gujarat government, too, had used to set up a similar panel. Reports suggest that as no retired judge was willing to head the probe commission, the UPA government had to abandon the plan to appoint the same, days before the Lok Sabha election results were announced.