Don`t make judgement till probe is on: FM on Niira being spy

Last Updated: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 21:36

Mumbai: The government on Saturday said it will be
premature to make a judgement on whether corporate lobbyist
Niira Radia was a spy or not, until the probe is completed in
the matter.

"Until the investigation is complete, the judicial
process is complete and the Court gives its verdict, who can
sit in judgement," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said
here this evening when asked whether Radia was a spy.

Mukherjee`s comment assumes importance in the backdrop of
an affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court,
where it was stated that Radia`s phones were tapped following
complaints of her being a foreign spy and she building up a
business empire of Rs 300 crore in a short span of nine years.

The affidavit was filed in connection with industrialist
Ratan Tata`s plea to the Supreme Court seeking steps by the
government to stop the publication in the media of the leaked
transcripts of tapped conversations between him, his corporate
lobbyist Niira Radia and others.

In the affidavit filed yesterday in the Supreme Court,
the government had said that it was alleged that Radia was an
agent of foreign intelligence agencies and she was indulging
in anti-national activities.

The government said that conversations were recorded as
part of the surveillance ordered by the Directorate General of
Income Tax (Investigation) following a complaint received by
the Finance Minister on November 16, 2007, alleging that Radia
had within a short span of nine years built up a business
empire worth Rs 300 crore.

Meanwhile, Radia`s public relations firm Vaishnavi said
in a statement that "vested corporate interests" were trying
to harm it with a malicious and derogatory campaign since
2007.

"Various queries seem to arise from a case which is
subjudice before the Hon’ble Supreme Court to which we are not
a party. We have complete faith in the investigative and
judicial process of the country.

"However it may be stated that in 2007, certain vested
corporate interests had circulated an inadmissible and forged
letter with malicious, baseless and derogatory content," a
Vaishnavi Corporate Communications spokesperson said.

"We had categorically denied the baseless allegations to
the media in 2007. The forgery of such a document was also
shared with the media then," the spokesperson said.

Vaishnavi further said that "the Government and the
investigative agencies would verify the antecedents of the
complaint received and this will amply establish that all
allegations against Radia to be false and motivated.

"We hope that the forces working overtime to harm us will
be duly identified and punished."

"Ms Radia and Vaishnavi yet again reiterate their
commitment to cooperate fully and completely with the
Government Agencies in their ongoing investigations on issues
related to the telecom sector," Vaisnavi said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 21:36

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