India being converted into surveillance state: Cong

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The Congress has alleged that the government action to seek the Call Data Record (CDR) from the cellular operators was illegal and in violation with the Supreme court guidelines.

The matter was raised in both Houses of Parliament by the Congress MPs on Thursday, who expressed dissatisfaction over the Centre’s response over its queries.

Congress Deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said, “India is being converted into a surveillance state,” as the party alleged that the government has sought call data records from the cellular operators in Delhi and nine other states. The Congress alleged that the government was violating the privilege of the Right to Privacy and the guidelines laid by the apex court.

The party said, “In 2013, when the CDR case of late Arun Jaitely came out, the then UPA government had laid strict guidelines that only with permission of the Home Secretary the CDR could be obtained.”

The party said that the government reply was unsatisfactory on it. The party raised the issue on Wednesday in the Lok sabha with Manish Tewari giving notice for adjournment.

The Congress leader said that this was contrary to the apex court judgement, which has established the supremacy of the right to privacy.

The party alleged that this is in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act.

“Reports which have emerged in the public space is extremely disturbing because the government has decided that it will carry out mass surveillance against the citizens of India. A sinister premeditated, orchestrated plot has been put in place in order to unleash the mass surveillance program against the citizens of India, which is absolute transgression of the Right to Privacy guaranteed by the Supreme Court of India in a 9/0 judgement.” said Manish Tewari.

“We strongly condemn and deprecate the assault on the freedom and fundamental rights given by the constitution,” said Tewari.

The UPA government had tightened the rules during its tenure, said the Congress leader. There are reports that the DoT has sought call data records on the specific routes of ministers and other dignitaries for the period of February 2, 3 and 4.



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