Narendra Modi government set up the Commission headed by retired High Court Judge Sugnya Bhatt to probe into what has come to be known as "snoopgate".

The petitioner, lawyer Girish Das, in his PIL sought 15 days time to produce the notification issued by the Centre to set up the Commission to probe into illegal surveillance of the woman, an architect, by Gujarat Police in 2009.

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhatacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala granted him till January 30 to produce the notification. Meanwhile, another advocate Ratna Vora on Thursday filed an application seeking to join as part-respondent in the PIL, which was accepted by the Bench.
Das on Thursday argued that when the Centre had formed a Commission to enquire into "snoopgate", the panel set up by the State had no authority and hence, it should be disbanded. However, the court held both the state and the Centre have authority to set up probe panels into the incident under the Commission of Inquiry Act.
In his PIL, the petitioner had also sought a CBI inquiry into alleged illegal phone-tapping of 93,000 persons carried out by the state government in the last six months.

Two investigative news portals, and, had claimed on November 15 that Amit Shah, then minister of state for home, had ordered illegal surveillance of the woman at the behest of one "Saheb".

They had released taped conversations between Shah and suspended IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim.

The State Government on November 25 formed two-member Commission, comprising Justice Bhatt and former IAS officer K C Kapoor, to probe the snooping scandal.
The Centre on December 26, decided to appoint a separate inquiry commission into the surveillance episode. This panel is likely to be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge.


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