With tapes of his telephone conversations with Niira Radia, who heads the firm that handles the Tata group's PR, having been widely leaked, group chairman Ratan Tata on Monday filed a petition in Supreme Court to protect his privacy.
Tata asked the court to pass an order stopping further publication of the tapes' contents and sought a probe into the leak. He also demanded action against those involved in leaking the tapes, saying the leak amounted to an infringement of his right to privacy, part of the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution
"The reputation of the petitioner is not only of great value to the petitioner, but also has a significant bearing on the reputation of the commercial organisations comprising the Tata group," his petition said.
Tata's petition further asked for "a through inquiry into the manner in which these secret recordings were, contrary to the rules, made available to those not authorised to receive the recordings."
Tata also wanted the apex court to direct the Home Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Directorate General of Income Tax and the CBI to immediately take all necessary steps to "retrieve" and "recover" the leaked tapes as far as possible.
"While the authorities may be within their power to wiretap and record such conversations for statutory investigations, they have a corresponding duty to ensure that what was recorded by them stays in the privacy of their custody and is not made available in any way for public dissemination," said Tata's petition.
Tata's taped conversations have been published in a couple of magazines.