New Delhi: Tata Chief Ratan Tata has
asked the Supreme Court to order a probe by an independent
agency into the leakage of his tapped telephonic talk with
corporate lobbyist Niira Radia expressing dissatisfaction over
the ongoing investigation.
"I submit that an inquiry by an independent agency
only can meet the need of the situation and not by two
functionaries of any one government department," he said in
a fresh counter-affidavit in reply to the government`s stand.
The government had filed its affidavits earlier on
December 9, 2010 and January 31, 2011 in replies to his
petition for the probe into the leakage and for the protection
of his fundamental right to privacy, linked to the right to
life with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Tata expressed dissatisfation over the ongoing probe
by the Income Tax authorities, claiming various lacunae,
limitations and inconsistencies as well as its mechanism.
The industrialist pointed out that the government in
its affidavit on December 9 last and susbsequently on January
31 had claimed that the probe was already on while the Finance
Ministry`s official order for appointment of two senior
officers to probe the matter was issued only on December 27.
This implies that there could have been no enquiry
prior to that (December 27), said Tata terming it as a
"This matter of discrepancy is for the Centre to
explain," he said.
He, however, added that "if the government has
ordered an enquiry, it is submitted that it is a step in the
right direction, albeit not sufficient."
Delving into the limitations of the mechanisim of the
probe, Tata, whose petition is listed for hearing tomorrow,
said, "The enquiry is limited to the Income Tax department and
not to other departments such as the Enforcement Directorate,
DRI, IB, CBI, who may be approached by officials of the Income
Tax department and (the inquiry) cannot cover them since they
are administratively independent of the Ministry of Finace."
Pointing out the government`s averment in its
December 9 affidavit that if a service provider is found to
have a role in leaking the transcripts, the telecommunication
ministry will have to be approached for the further action,
Tata said, "Thus the enquiry, which is sought to be done, is
He termed the probe as inadequate also because, the
government in its December 9 affidavit had contended that
"there is no reason to believe that telephonic intercepts have
been leaked from the Income Tax department."
"It is apparent that the limited nature of enquiry
ordered by the government does not redress my grievances
raised in the writ petition at all," said Tata.