File photo of Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena (Image: Twitter)
Dikshit and the former ministers wrote to LG Saxena, saying the sanction to CBI to prosecute Manish Sisodia in the Feedback Unit case was not relevant since it was not just a matter of corruption but a clear case of sedition involving spying
Former MP Sandeep Dikshit and Mangat Ram Singhal and Kiran Walia, two former Delhi ministers, have written to LG VK Saxena, demanding an NIA probe under the UAPA into charges of snooping and spying by the city government’s Feedback Unit, officials said on Monday.
The LG Secretariat has forwarded the request to the Delhi chief secretary for further action, they added.
Dikshit and the former ministers wrote to Lieutenant Governor Saxena on March 1, saying the sanction to the CBI to prosecute former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the Feedback Unit case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was not relevant since it was not just a matter of corruption but a clear case of sedition involving spying on people and institutions, including those of the Centre, in full knowledge of the chief minister and the Cabinet.
”To acquire a capacity to listen to conversations, gather intelligence and information and to ’spy’ on people and institutions in the National Capital Territory that includes the Government of India, the defence establishments, intelligence agencies of the Union Government etc, is a clear case of sedition.
”While we are not lawyers, we believe that this invokes the UAPA, or similar acts and the CBI and the NIA must be directed by yourself to investigate under laws governing sedition and anti-national activities and as evidence of wrongdoing has already been found, the concerned CM and ministers of Delhi the government and officials must be prosecuted under such sedition and anti-national laws as maybe found applicable in this,” the letter to Saxena read.
Last month, Saxena gave the nod to the CBI to file a case in the matter.
Later, the Centre paved the way for registering a new case against Sisodia, a senior AAP leader, by giving the CBI sanction for prosecution in a case related to alleged collection of ”political intelligence” through a Delhi government department.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs conveyed to the LG’s Office granting of sanction to prosecute Sisodia under Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (powers to police for investigating a public servant).
The letter to Saxena further stated, ”We draw your attention to recent news that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought and received sanction from you to prosecute Manish Sisodia, Minister of Delhi government, in a case of the setting up of a Feedback Unit (FBU) by the Delhi government some years back. This sanction is sought under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
”Sir, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that if the Government of Delhi, with full knowledge of its chief minister, the entire Cabinet and in the presence of senior government officials sanctioned and setup a unit that had the capacity and intent to collect information, electronic data etc. with a capacity to intercept and listen to/observe/record data, which is neither allowed to this government constitutionally or in any other way a part of its duties and responsibilities, then it is not just a case of corruption.”
The AAP dispensation had proposed setting up the Feedback Unit in 2015 to gather information and actionable feedback regarding the working of various departments and autonomous bodies, institutions and entities under the jurisdiction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and also for ”trap cases”, the CBI said.
The unit started functioning in 2016 with a provision of Rs 1 crore for secret service expenditure, it added.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)