The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On Phone Tapping
The report published in the Outlook magazine about the interception of phone calls of four political leaders, including the General Secretary of the CPI(M), is a serious matter. The report shows that the government is using the intelligence and security agencies to serve its political purpose to spy upon opposition leaders and to keep track of even its own allies and party leaders.
Such acts subvert the democratic system and breeds an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government. They cannot be tolerated.
The government must own up responsibility in the matter and take action against those who ordered the surveillance. Protecting the covert activities of the intelligence and security agencies cannot be made the pretext for a cover-up.
To ensure that such illegal acts do not recur, the government should place in Parliament a clear set of guidelines prohibiting the use of the intelligence and security agencies for any form of surveillance of political leaders and their activities. Instructions on tapping of phones and surveillance on grounds of national security or investigation of criminal activity must be codified. The intelligence and security agencies must be subject to parliamentary oversight.