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Direct judicial probe in 'Saheb and Stalking' case, women activists urge president
Can a person with flagrant disregard for law, constitution and liberty of people be trusted with positions of public responsibility, they ask
Tuesday November 26, 2013 0:57 AM, News Network

Over two dozen women rights activists on Monday submitted a petition to President Pranab Mukherjee requesting him to direct an independent and fair judicial probe into the alleged snooping of a woman by different wings of Gujarat police in September 2009 on the order of then MoS Home Amit Shah.

Stating that the entire incident is causing "great fear" and "consternation" in the minds of women of the country, the rights activists said in the petition submitted to the president, "The situation requires your intervention, as Head of the Nation, through directing an independent and fair Judicial probe into the entire issue, to restore the confidence of ordinary citizens, particularly women, that state power is not being misused to breach their constitutional rights."

They also said that this total breach of constitutionally enshrined 'Right to Privacy' of a young woman, her friends and acquaintances raises pertinent issues of gender justice, equality before law and negation of oath of office for protecting life and liberty of every citizen.

Terming the case as violation of the constitutional oath, negation of 'Right to Privacy', gross abuse of State power and misuse of police machinery and commission of offences, the women activists in their petition asked, "Does this illegal surveillance not raise moral and ethical issues as to capability and style of governance of Narendra Modi? Can a person with such flagrant disregard for law, constitution and liberty of people be trusted with positions of public responsibility or to protect the rights of citizens?"

They also asked, "Is it not a fact that illegal interception of the nature conducted by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah along with police officers of the State makes out a clear cut offence under Section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act read with Section 120-B as also Section 166 of Indian Penal Code? Would it not also be tantamount to 'stalking' under Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code?"

Stating that services of police officers, including SP level officers, were used across cities in Gujarat and other states for undertaking the surveillance operations and for this purpose extensive money, resources and vehicles were used, they asked, "Will Narendra Modi and Amit Shah explain as to where the money, resources, vehicles, plane tickets were generated from for purposes of surveillance? Did the money belong to public exchequer? If yes, how and from which head was this money used and its justification? If it was private money, where was it generated from and how was it being used by government officers?"

They said that these questions are being asked by lakhs of young men and women in this country qua protection of their right to personal liberty and right to privacy that were being trampled upon at the whims of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and others have not only violated the oath of office but have also breached the obligations of protecting the life and liberty of every citizen besides committing crimes under the Indian Telegraph Act as also Sections120-B and 166 of Indian Penal Code", the women activists said in their petition to the president.

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