The Income-Tax department on Tuesday submitted the complete transcripts of 5,800 tapped telephone conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with politicians, corporate honchos to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover.
A bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukopadhyaya took on record the transcripts and said: "We will go through the envelopes (containing the transcripts) to decide what course of action can be taken."
The court said it would consider setting-up an independent team to evaluate the transcripts only after perusing it. It fixed January 22 to hear the matter further and added that on reading the transcripts if it finds criminality by any person in the conversations then it could refer the matter to the CBI.
The I-T department placed the 48 envelopes — 10 were deposited earlier — before the court during the hearing of former Tata chief Ratan Tata's petition seeking action against those who leaked parts of the tapped conversation with Radia to the media. Radia's conversations were recorded as part of the I-T department's surveillance on a complaint filed with finance minister on November 16, 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years she had built an empire worth Rs. 300 crore.
Excerpts from the tapes earlier leaked in the media had sparked a political storm with the conversations bringing out the nature of corporate lobbying and led to unravelling of the 2G spectrum scam during former telecom minister A Raja's tenure.
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO, has also sought a court direction that all conversations should be made public except those which are purely personal in nature.