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SC seeks details of actions on Amar Singh telephone tapping

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 18:14

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took
serious note of unauthorised phone tapping by private telecom
companies and sought Centre`s response on the action taken
against Reliance Infocom for intercepting politician Amar
Singh`s telephone five years ago.

"The Attorney General should inform the court about
the action taken on the showcause notice issued to Reliance
Infocom on December 31, 2005," a Bench comprising Justices G S
Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.
The show cause notice was issued to the company by the
Government on a complaint filed by Singh about tapping of his
conversation in 2005.

The Bench also expressed its displeasure against
Reliance Infocom for not furnishing full details about the
case before the court saying that its affidavit was "vague" in
a very serious matter.

"You (Reliance Infocom) have to show us the records.
You have to show us which particular agency asked to intercept
the telephone. You have to tell us which agency asked you to
tape as in our country there are so many law enforcing

"Why didn`t you mention these aspects in your
affidavit? The affidavit is absolutely vague," the Bench said
before asking Reliance Infocom to bring original records
pertaining to the case, which had been given to Delhi Police
for probe.

During the hearing, the bench also disapproved of the
manner in which various parties filed the affidavit on Singh`s
petition, moved in 2006, alleging tapping of his telephone by
the government for "political reasons".
"We found that the affidavits were not in consonance
with the law," the bench said, adding it was a very serious
matter but the officials were very casual in their approach.

The bench asked the Delhi government to place before
it the status report on the case in which four persons have
been chargsheeted.

It directed Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to
instruct Delhi Police to file its affidavit in accordance with
the law and posted the matter for further hearing on February

During the hearing, the bench was informed by
Subramanium that the conversation was tapped on the basis of a
"forged" letter.

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

However, senior advoacte Harish Salve, appearing for
Singh, stressed that the matter should be heard by the apex
court as the petition has raised the issue of "unauthorised"
tapping of telephone and "cosy" relations between the
government and some telecom service providers.


First Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 18:14

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