Hyderabad High Court granted stay in Phone tapping case
Hyderabad high court on thursday granted stay on all further proceedings in the phone tapping case at the chief metropolitan Magistrate’s court in vijayawada, While admitting a petition filed by the Telangana government seeking stay on the proceedings at the chief metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar held that the plea was maintainable and directed the lower court to submit call records and other material furnished by telecom service providers, without opening the sealed cover, to the high court registry.
Importantly, more than the interim stay, the arguments presented in the court by the Centre are being seen as a major shocker to the Andhra Pradesh government.
During arguments in the high court, Telangana State A-G K Ramakrishna Reddy pointed out that the court registry had raised an objection on the maintainability of the petition filed by Telangana State in the case. “The State’s rights were infringed upon (by the lower court). The high court has the power to entertain such petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution,” he said.
Additional Solicitor General of India Natarajan submitted that the Union of India acts under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act — which empowers it to take possession of licensed telegraphs and order interception of messages. “As interception is legal where procedure is followed, courts cannot call for records.
The entire correspondence regarding interception is a privileged document and cannot be disclosed or forced to be disclosed even before a court of law. The contents of interception are with the law enforcing agency of the State (TS),” he argued. Significantly, he said, “the State of Telangana sought the opinion of the Centre before intercepting certain telephonic conversations and the entire correspondence regarding the interception is a privileged document.