The Centre on Tuesday discussed with the state governments various aspects of telephone tapping and emphasised on strict adherence of existing rules to avoid any controversy.
At the meeting of Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police, Home Ministry officials said law enforcement agencies can tap phone of any individual for security or operational reasons for 72 hours even without permission from Union Home Ministry or the state Home Secretary.
In such a case, if the concerned agency does not get permission, it will have to destroy the taped telephone conversations within 48 hours, official sources said.
However, some of the participating Chief Secretaries at the meeting said 48 hours time to delete the tapped phone calls was too short and it should be extended.
Home Ministry officials also told the representatives of the state governments about do's and don'ts of wire tapping and emphasised strict adherence to rules.
The meeting also discussed recommendations of the secretaries of the committee on telephone tapping.
Telephone tapping has been a very controversial issue in the country, especially in the wake of leaks of telephone tapes of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
The meeting, chaired by Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai, also deliberated on issues like census on castes, people living Below Poverty Line, urban poor and human trafficking.
Census on castes, BPL and urban poor will be conducted together across the country and all logistics and manpower provided by the state governments.