A commission of inquiry may be ordered by the Centre into the alleged "snooping" on a woman in Gujarat allegedly at the behest of Amit Shah, a close aide of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday said many women organisations and non-governmental organisations had given representations to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a probe into alleged "snooping" on the woman and the President had referred the applications to the home ministry.
"My department is examining them. There are some formalities too that have to be completed. It should not happen or look like as if we are taking a haphazard decision against a party. Hence, our department is going into details and once that is done, very soon we will take a decision on that," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
Shinde was replying to a question on the possibility of ordering a probe into the alleged "snooping" incident. Two news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed on November 15 that Amit Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman in Gujarat at the behest of one "saheb".
They had released purported taped conversation between Shah and Indian Police Service officer G L Singhal to support their claim but said the authenticity of the tape could not be confirmed. However, the father of the woman had told the National Commission of Women that his daughter does not want any probe into the issue as there was no encroachment of her privacy.
"It is an earnest wish of my daughter that no further probe (in snooping issue) is necessary as being politically demanded," he had said in a letter to the NCW and Gujarat State Commission for Women.
Sources said a final decision on conducting a probe through a commission of inquiry will be taken only after the Union Cabinet gives its approval.
If the Cabinet gives its nod, the government may ask the Supreme Court to spare one of its sitting judges or a retired judge to head the commission. A commission of inquiry will have independence as well as adequate powers to seek official documents and call people for questioning, sources said.
A probe by such a commission is considered more credible than a normal police probe, they said.