Kerala government on Monday informed the Assembly that the Crime Branch would probe the complaints of alleged phone tapping and hacking of emails of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) chief DGP Jacob Thomas. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said tapping of phone calls of politicians and officials was not the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s policy and any kind of illegal hacking was an offence.
He was replying to a notice for an adjournment motion by Congress-led UDF opposition over the reported complaint of Thomas to state police chief Loknath Behera that his phone calls were being tapped and emails hacked.
“Jacob Thomas has not raised any such allegation or complaint. He just brought to the notice of DGP about media reports that his phone calls were being tapped and emails hacked and expressed his concern over this,” Vijayan said.
Thomas’s request was to take action if the allegations were found to be true, he said.
Stating that phone calls were usually tapped by the investigating agencies on matters related to national security and integrity, the Chief Minister said any kind of illegal tapping and hacking was an offence.
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Stern action would be taken if anybody violates the rules in this regard, he said.
“The complaint is being viewed with all seriousness.Crime Branch will be entrusted with the probe into it,” he added.
Coming out in support of Thomas, who had recently expressed his readiness to quit as Vigilance Director, Vijayan also said that Thomas had not submitted any letter specifically stating that he wants to quit.
“He had just expressed some desires. But government wants such an efficient officer to continue in the post,” he said.
Vijayan also made it clear that the government would not interfere with the freedom of the anti-corruption watchdog.
“There will not be any government action that will weaken the functioning of an official like Thomas. He is an officer who wants to carry out his responsibilities properly. The government has given him complete freedom to carry out his duties,” he said.
The CM also dismissed charges of differences among senior IPS officials in the state police force, which resulted in the snooping allegations by Thomas.