Tata dissatisfied over probe into leakage of Radia tapes
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 21:12
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 "discrepancy".

"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 inadequate."

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.


First Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 21:12

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