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UP cannot question Delhi officers in phone-tapping row
February 08, 2006 14:34 IST
The Delhi high Court on Wednesday granted an interim order restraining the Uttar Pradesh police special task force from questioning top Delhi government officials, including Principal Secretary (Home) R Narayanaswamy and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ranjit Narayan. This is in connection with the Amar Singh phone tapping row.
Justice R C Jain passed the interim order while dealing with a contempt petition filed by the Delhi police against its Uttar Pradesh counterpart for conducting a parallel probe into the case, despite the court's earlier stay on the matter.
Justice Jain also gave the UP police three days to file their affidavit on the contempt petition and posted the matter for further hearing on February 16.
Appearing for the Delhi government, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam took umbrage at UP's reply to the contempt notice. In that, the STF had maintained that the Delhi high Court has no jurisdiction to restrain UP police from investigating the matter.
Subramaniam maintained that the UP police's defiance was not only contemptuous of the high Court but also a serious assault on the federal structure of the country, involving two different states.
The ASG informed the Court that the latest forensic reports had established that letters purported to have been issued by Narayanaswamy and Narayan were forged; the Delhi police is on the verge of completing the entire investigation and filing a chargesheet.
The Delhi police also submitted compact discs and newspaper clippings, in which top sleuths of UP police reportedly stated that they would continue with their investigations, irrespective of the Delhi high Court order.
However, appearing for UP, senior counsels Sushil Kumar and R S Chandioke argued that there was no defiance of the high Court order. They said that the STF was merely questioning the two Delhi government officials as part of routine investigations in pursuant to an FIR lodged in UP on a different premise.
Chandioke also submitted that the contempt petition moved by Delhi police was a clear case of abusing the due process of law to protect the two officials who were sought to be examined by the investigating STF officers.
UP police also maintained that the contempt petition was a camouflage to stay the recovery of the letters and certain other information in the possession of the two top Delhi officials.
Kumar reiterated that the two parallel FIRs registered in the case were based on different angles of conspiracy theory and hence should be allowed to proceed uninhindered in the interest of justice and fair play.