Growing corruption mind-boggling: Supreme Court

Taking note of the Niira Radia tapes issue, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it is like some "matrimonial proceedings" while observing as "mind-boggling" the malaise of corruption in the country.

New Delhi: Taking note of the Niira Radia
tapes issue, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it is like some
"matrimonial proceedings" while observing as "mind-boggling"
the malaise of corruption in the country.

A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K
Ganguly made the observation while asking Government`s
response on the plea for preserving the tapes containing
conversation between corporate lobbyist Radia and others in
the 2G spectrum scam.
"Not only are we talking about pollution of the Ganga
for the past 28-30 years... This pollution (corruption) is
mind-boggling," the court said after Prashant Bhushan. counsel
for the petitioner, an NGO, spoke about the nexus between
politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and journalists as
"exposed" in the tapes.

Referring to the conversations between Radia and
these people, the court said, "All this gives an indication
that we are hearing some matrimonial proceedings."

The court asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to
take instructions from the authorities on the plea made by the
NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), for
preservation of the controversial tapes.

Bhushan appearing for the NGO had made the plea that the
tapes prepared by the Director General of Income Tax
containing the recorded conversations of Radia and others
should be kept intact as he apprehended it could be destroyed.

Reading out purported extracts from the taped
conversations, he said the CBI should be directed to place in
a sealed cover the original copies of tapes and questioned the
opposition against their disclosure by a noted industrialist
-- an obvious reference to Ratan Tata who had moved the apex
court on Monday raising certain objections over the leaks.

He contended that Radia`s corporate communication
company had employed a former TRAI Chairman Pradeep Baijal,
who was lobbying in the government department on behalf of her
PR firm as its CEO.
The bench said that it would not like to name the
gentleman who gave an "honourable" example of joining the PR
firm after retirement, but sarcastically said, "by joining the
firm, he has given an illustrious example".

Subramanium interrupted the Bench and said Baijal was
a Secretary-level IAS officer in the Government and it is not
known "under what circumstances he joined the PR firm of
Radia".

The apex court also asked the government, whether the
controversial firm Swan Telecom has fulfilled its roll-out
obligations set by the Telcom Regulatory Authority of India,
while allotting licenses.

The government had yesterday stated it will ask the
Ministry of Corporate Affairs to investigate the allegation
that Swan, which got licences and spectrum in 2008, acted as a
front company of Anil Ambani-led RCom.

PTI

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