The government told the Supreme Court on Friday that the probe into lobbyist Niira Radia’s activities began in response to a complaint that she was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies, engaged in anti-national activities.
The affidavit said the complaint, received by the finance ministry in November 2007, also claimed Radia, in a short span of nine years, had built a R300-crore business empire.
A spokesperson of Radia’s Vaishnavi Corporate Communications said, “As a responsible corporate, neither we nor our promoter have ever indulged in any anti-national activities.”
He said the letter sent to the finance ministry was “an inadmissible and forged letter with malicious, baseless and derogatory content”.
The affidavit was filed in response to Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata’s plea for stopping further publication of his conversations with Radia. The next hearing is on December 13.
The government said, “It is not possible or practical for the government to take steps to retrieve the copies of some of the transcripts, which have appeared in the media and are being circulated on the Internet.”
The affidavit, filed on behalf of the ministries of home and finance and the Income-Tax department, said the information culled by monitoring Radia’s phones was shared with the Enforcement Directorate, CBI and the Intelligence Bureau.
The CBI wrote to the I-T Department in November 2009 asking for copies of the transcripts. It said “Certain middle men, including one Niira Radia were actively involved in … criminal conspiracy.” It, however, did not specify what the criminal conspiracy was all about.