UPA looks for judge to snoop on Modi
On the other hand, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, reacting to the move, said that the new government at the Centre can review any mala fide last-minute decision taken by the UPA government on the snoopgate controversy to harass its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is also the chief minister of Gujarat. He also accused the Congress of being desperate as there are high chances of the NDA coming to power. ‘It reflects their (UPA) arrogance and soon they will be voted out of power,’ Jaitley said.
Jaitley’s sharp criticism came after union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde revealed that the Cabinet had taken the decision to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to probe the incident of snooping on a woman in Gujarat and they are going to appoint a judge before 16 May. It was learnt that the judicial commission to probe ‘snoopgate’ will be finalised before the Lok Sabha poll process concludes on 16 May. When asked whether the appointment of a judge in the midst of the general poll amounts to violation of the model code of conduct, Shinde said, ‘The union cabinet has taken the decision much before the model code of conduct came into force. Legally, there is no problem.’
Attacking Modi, he said: ‘Snooping on a woman by the Gujarat chief minister is really a matter of concern and worry for all of us. I am really worried what will happen to the women of the country if he becomes the prime minister.’ Rebutting the home minister, Jaitley said, ‘They tried to appoint two new information commissioners; next, they tried to fill up the quorum of the search committee for appointment of the Lokpal, and last, they are trying desperately to get at least one judge to agree to head the snoopgate commission. I doubt if any of these moves are likely to succeed. Even if they do, a future government would be well within its legitimate rights to review such a mala fide last-minute decision of the UPA.’
Earlier, on 26 December, 2013, the union cabinet had decided to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate charges against Modi and his aide Amit Shah for spying on a woman in 2009. The matter received a major jolt when no retired judge agreed to the probe. The government might approach the Allahabad High Court to seek the services of a sitting judge to head the commission now. Union law minister Kapil Sibal too confirmed that a judge will be appointed by 16 May.