The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to place before it the report of the probe ordered into the leakage of "classified documents/telephonic intercepts" of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's conversations with politicians, businessmen and journalists.
He submitted that while the freedom of the press was vital, an individual's right to privacy was also equally important and hence a balance has to be struck to avoid conflict of interests.
The apex court had earlier decided to examine the issues raised by Tata, including the questions of the right to privacy and the right to freedom of speech and expression as envisaged under the Constitution.
The court had on December 2 last issued notices to the Centre and news magazines 'Open' and 'Outlook' which had published some portions of the transcripts of Radia's conversations with several people including Tata.
The apex court had also issued notices to the Union Home Secretary, CBI, the Income Tax Department and the Finance Ministry.
Tata, in his petition, has said several parts of the conversations were purely private in nature which were spoken casually and could not be taken seriously.
He pleaded that the portals and the other news media should be restrained from making his conversations public and sought action against those involved in the leak of the tapes, claiming it infringed his fundamental right to life and privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution and freedom of speech under Article 19(1)(a).
In the wake of spectrum allocation scam, which according to CAG resulted in a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer, the media had published the taped conversations that Radia had with various politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and journalists.