Tata affidavit accuses govt of tape leak
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has accused the government of allowing distribution and publication of his private conversation with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.delhi Updated: Jan 11, 2011 00:03 IST
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has accused the government of allowing distribution and publication of his private conversation with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
Tata’s affidavit was filed before the Supreme Court in response to government stand that it wasn’t possible to retrieve leaked conversations that have already appeared in the press.
In an affidavit filed on Saturday, Tata said that his writ petition filed in December 2010 was not to merely block publication of his conversations, but raised a larger issue of violation of the “constitutional rights of a large number of persons.”
Lashing out at the lackadaisical attitude of the government, Tata said a “potential conflict” had arisen with the publication of the conversation as big corporate houses own substantial stakes in media groups.
“The assertion of the right of the media to broadcast these tapes has to be evaluated against the invasion of the right to privacy...for its is obvious that the right to freedom of expression cannot be a euphemism for waging surrogate corporate war,” Tata stated in his affidavit.
He said problems have arisen as media entities have huge investments by large business houses such as Reliance Capital, RPG and the Rahejas.
Reliance Capital, a unit of the Anil Ambani Group , owns 10% of the TV Today Networks, which belong to the India Today Group.
RPG and the Mumbai-based Rajan Raheja Group own the magazines Open and Outlook. The two monthly magazines have published extensive excerpts from the Radia tapes. Both are contesting Tata’s petition before the Supreme Court.
Referring to the taped conversation, Tata said though the issue of allocation of 2G spectrum and licence was a matter of public interest, the tapping of Radia’s phones happened after the allocations.
The recording of Radia’s phones took place between August 20 and December 2008, while the licences were distributed between October 2007 and January 10, 2008.