New Delhi: Critical of the "unauthorised" release of tapes of his conversation with PR consultant Nira Radia, the USD 73 billion Tata group chief Ratan Tata on Monday moved the Supreme Court to seek action against those behind the leakage.
Filing a writ petition Tata invoked Article 32 of the Constitution, claiming that his Right to Life, which includes right to privacy, has been breached by the leakage of these tapes.
Tata is hurt after his telephonic conversation with Nira Radia, the company’s public relations consultant, was intercepted and leaked to the media along with the 2G spectrum tapes.
Under Article 32, any person who feels that his fundamental rights are violated can straightaway move the highest court of the country seeking redressal of the grievance.
The petition, where Union of India is sought to be made a respondent, seeks that responsibilities be fixed on who leaked the tapes -- recorded by the Income Tax authorities in 2008 and 2009 -- that were meant for investigation.
SC has already held that unwarranted and unlawful phone-tapping by the authorities is violation of the right to life.
Tata has said government agencies have special powers to invade people’s privacy, but with these special powers come special responsibilities.
In a TV interview, he said the government could take a stand, bring an auditor, investigate the matter and book the guilty.
“But stop this sort of banana republic kind of attack on whoever one chooses to attack on a basis unsubstantiated even before the person has a very Indian right — namely to be considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law,” an anguished Tata said.
Legal analysts said once filed the petition will get an official number from the court, after which Tata’s lawyer may plead before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SH Kapadia for an urgent hearing.
It will be open to CJI to refer the petition to an appropriate bench or to the bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly which is already seized of petitions relating to 2G spectrum allocations ordered by then telecommunications minister A Raja two years ago.
CBI has already filed an affidavit explaining the magnitude of the alleged scam and has said it was sifting thousands of documents and intercepts conducted with authority.
Tata’s petition may not be concerned with the ongoing proceedings but with unauthorised use of the intercepts leaked to the media.
(With PTI inputs)