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GOVERNMENTS

Maharashtra government sets up panel to probe phone-tapping allegations made by Nana Patole

NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government has appointed a high-level committee headed by state DGP Sanjay Pandey to probe the phone-tapping allegations levelled by state Congress chief Nana Patole.

State intelligence department commissioner and additional police commissioner (special branch) will be part of this three-member panel.

During the two-day monsoon session of the state legislature held earlier this week, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had made the announcement about setting up a high-level inquiry while speaking in the Legislative Assembly.

Patole has claimed that his phone was tapped during 2016-17 when he was a Member of Parliament (MP) and when the state government was headed by Devendra Fadnavis. He said his phone was tapped on the pretext that it belonged to drug-peddler Amjad Khan.

The government order issued on Friday evening said the committee would probe the case and submit its report to the legislature in three months.

The terms and reference for the committee is to scrutinise the cases of phone-tapping between 2015 and 2019 and find out whether there was any political motive.

“If the phone surveillance was politically motivated, action will be taken,” the order said.

When Patole raised the issue in the House, several members supported the need for a high-level probe.

Patole represents Sakoli Assembly segment in Bhandara district of Vidarbha region. He had earlier quit the Congress and won the 2014 Lok Sabha election on the BJP’s ticket. However, he left the saffron party in 2017 citing differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Fadnavis, and returned to the Congress.

Source: Press Trust of India

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