Hyderabad: Central Bureau of India (CBI) sleuths have been tapping phones for a long time. Investigators even claimed that it was within the purview of CBI to tap conversations in graft cases.They also said that it is admissible as evidence with supporting documentation in a court of law.
Senior CBI officials confirmed that the central probe agency, which has Anti-Corruption Division as one of its key branches, has been tapping phones in graft cases.
They also stated that they have been furnishing evidence gathered against the accused, obtained through tapping in graft cases, before courts and that was admitted.
“Along with audio recordings of phone conversations, we also furnish relevant documentation,” a CBI officer said. In such cases, the CBI interprets corruption by a public servant as threat to the country’s economy.
Based on a request of the unit head of CBI, the CBI Director seeks permission from the Union Home Secretary through Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for tapping phone conversations of the accused or the complainant or persons associated with the graft case as per section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.
The CBI officials said that the state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) could also tap the phone of an accused or complainant if required and the evidence obtained would be admissible in court.
“In case of emergency, when there is not sufficient time to obtain permission, tapping can be done first by giving in writing to the service provider that permission from the Union Home Secretary will be furnished within 15 days,” a CBI official said.