Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not satisfied with probe into Radia tapes: Tata to Supreme Court

New Delhi, Februar 24, 2011

Tata chief Ratan Tata on Thursday told the Supreme Court that he was not satisfied with the "lackadaisical approach" of the government in investigating the leakage of the tapes of telephonic conversation of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

"There has to be a comprehensive inquiry into it. My concern is that government is not giving serious consideration and attention to the issue ," senior advocate Harish Salve told a Bench comprising Justices G. S. Singhvi and A. K. Ganguly.

He said the government should have been concerned when transcripts of the recorded conversation between Ms. Radia and others were published in the media for the first time on April 28, last year. "Government should have been extremely concerned on April 28, 2010 as to how this got in the media and how it was leaked?" Mr. Salve said.

He said that the contents of the CD became public even before it was annexed with the petition filed by an NGO CPIL before the apex court.

"The government must have and should have ordered an inquiry when the trouble started on April 28," he contended.

He also accused the government of preserving all the contents of the recorded conversation which was intercepted by the Income Tax department.

He argued that only those tapes should have been preserved which were the subject matter of the order pertaining to the interception and the rest should have been destroyed.

"Something which is not required as per the order is to be destroyed immediately," he said.

Mr. Salve further contended that what has to be preserved and used by the government agency was the "class of messages" which must relate to the subject for which the order for interception was given. He said during the course of interception, all types of private talk which infringed upon the privacy of the person should have been destroyed. "They (agencies) are not entitled to have entire materials recorded during the course of time," he said.

The court was hearing the petition filed by Mr. Tata seeking to stop any further publication of the contents of the conversation between Ms. Radia and others, including him.

He has also sought a thorough inquiry into the leakage of the tapes.

He has been contending that making public the contents of his private conversation violates his fundamental right to privacy, linked to his Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution

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