Radia tapes: Tata`s plea to be opposed in SC by NGO

Last Updated: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 21:08

New Delhi: Tata Group Chief Ratan Tata`s
plea seeking stopping of further publication of his taped
conversations with Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is likely to
be opposed in the Supreme Court by an NGO which wants
all the recorded conversations to be put in public domain.

"We would make a plea in the apex court on Monday for
bringing it to public domain all the tapped conversations
between Radia and others," advocate Prashant Bhushan said.
He will file an application on behalf of the NGO,
Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) in this regard.
Tata`s petition is listed for hearing on Monday.

Bhushan said the intervention application will be
filed in the pending petition of Tata in which the Government
has filed an affidavit in response to the December 2 notice.

He said a separate petition would also be filed
by the CPIL for making public the tapped conversation of
Radia, part of which has been leaked.

Government on Friday filed an affidavit stating
Radia`s 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 she had within a
short span of nine years built up a business empire worth Rs
300 crore.

It was also alleged that she was an agent of foreign
intelligence agencies and she was indulging in anti-national
activities.

Government turned down Tata`s plea for taking steps to
stop the publication in the media of the leaked transcripts of
tapped conversations between him, his corporate lobbyist Niira
Radia and others.

It also made clear that the income tax department
cannot take action against any cell phone service provider who
may have been responsible for "unauthorised supply of
information".

It is for Telecom or any other competent ministry to
look into it, the government said in an eight-page affidavit
filed in the court.
"It is not possible or practical for the government to
take steps to retrieve the various copies of some of the
transcripts which have appeared in the print media or in the
electronic media and which are being circulated on the
internet," the affidavit said.

The affidavit was filed in response to the notice
issued by the court on Dec two on a petition filed by Ratan
Tata seeking a ban on further publication of the tapes in the
media and action against those responsible for leaking them.

"Secrecy and security have been maintained and the
integrity and safety of the data in electronic form have been
ensured through proper checks in the systems through which the
recordings have taken place," the Government said in the
8-page affidavit.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 21:08

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