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Snoop-gate investigation cancelled by Gujarat High Court

An investigation into whether a young woman architect was illegally spied upon by the Gujarat police has been cancelled by the Gujarat High Court, based on a petition by the woman’s father.

The architect’s family had asked for the inquiry to be cancelled, describing the case as “a private matter.”

Snoop-gate, as the scandal was dubbed, erupted before the national election and was used by the Congress to aggressively target Narendra Modi, who was then the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

Audio tapes were posted on two investigative news websites which said the conversations revealed Amit Shah, who was then Home Minister, ordering the police in 2009 to tail the architect and tap her phone on the orders of “saheb” (boss). That was a reference to Narendra Modi, said his political opponents, who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat.

The conversations, secretly recorded by police officer GL Singhal, who claims he was among the police officers asked to spy on the woman, were submitted to the CBI.

The BJP has repeatedly asserted that it was the woman’s family who asked for her security to be ensured, a claim backed in writing by her father to various agencies including the National Commission for Women. He said he had asked Mr Modi to keep a watch on his daughter for her safety, but did not elaborate on why he thought she was in danger. He then asked the Supreme Court to cancel any further inquiry, which asked him to make his request to the Gujarat High Court.

The Gujarat government in November ordered an investigation to be conducted by a two-person panel consisting of a retired High Court judge and a retired senior bureaucrat.

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