Karnataka CM Yediyurappa orders CBI probe into alleged phone tapping
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Sunday morning that the investigation into the alleged phone-tapping scandal will be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “All political leaders, including CLP leader Siddaramaiah, has sought a high-level probe into the scandal. So I have ordered a CBI probe into it,” Mr. Yediyurappa told mediapersons outside his residence in Bengaluru. An audio recording of a telephone conversation between one Faraz Ahmed and incumbent Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, where the latter was heard lobbying for the Commissioner’s post, was leaked to the media days after Mr. Rao took charge earlier this month.
Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (Crime Bengaluru), submitted an interim report on the issue recommending a high-level probe into the issue. While the State police chief recommended a probe by the State Criminal Investigation Department, the Chief Minister opted for a CBI probe.
This comes amidst widespread allegations that former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had got telephones of several politicians and rebel MLAs tapped during the political crisis in June-July. Former MLA, now disqualified for defection, A.H. Vishwanath had alleged the phones of all rebel MLAs were tapped and the former Chief Minister had even “blackmailed” them with exposure of audio tapes if they did not withdraw their resignations. Even coalition partner Congress had joined the chorus in demanding an impartial probe into the alleged scandal, amidst speculations that phones of even close associates of some senior Congressmen were tapped.