SC lifts gag order on Amar Singh tapes

The SC vacated its interim order restraining the media from making contents public.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday lifted
its gag order on the media restraining it from broadcasting
and publishing contents of the taped conversations of former
Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh with top politicians and
Bollywood stars.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly
dismissed Singh`s petition and vacated its interim order
passed on February 27, 2006 restraining the media from making
contents of the conversation public.

The bench also said that there has been suppression of
facts by the politician before the court in the case.

The court, however, said the politician may file a
case against Reliance Infocomm for illegally tapping his

Justice A K Ganguly, who wrote the judgement for the
bench which also included Justice G S Singhvi, said that no
case is made out against the Centre and its authorities as
they were not involved in tapping Singh`s telephone.

The bench had reserved its verdict on Singh`s petition on
March 29 after hearing him and an NGO, the Centre for Public
Interest Litigation (CPIL), which has opposed his plea and
had sought a direction for making public all his tapped

The apex court had on February 27, 2006, restrained
the electronic and the print media from broadcasting and
publishing the contents of the tapped conversations of all,
including those of Singh.

Singh, who was the Samajwadi Party general secretary
at the time when his telephones were tapped, had earlier
accused the Congress through its President and private telecom
operator Reliance Infocomm, of being behind the tapping but
had later withdrawn his allegations against the Congress.

Besides the two ministries - Telecom and Home, Singh
had also included Delhi government and Delhi Police in his

He had pleaded that his phones were intercepted in
violation of the guidelines of the apex court and the
provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and Rules.

On the last hearing, the court had said, "We don`t
have to vacate the injunction as there is nothing surviving in
your petition since it was done on forged documents."

The court had earlier observed that Singh`s privacy
has been violated but he should file case against the telecom

"Your incursion of privacy is established but your
cure lies against Reliance which had intercepted your calls.
You have other remedy," the bench had said.

The court had made the remarks when Singh pleaded that
his privacy would be further violated after the gag order is

The bench had said the aggrieved leader can seek an
alternative remedy against telecom operator Reliance Infocomm
which had allowed tapping on the forged documents in 2005.

Taking note that the letter for interception was
forged and there was no involvement of government agencies,
the Bench had said Singh could file a lawsuit against the
private company.


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