Business tycoon Ratan Tata on Wednesday attended the Supreme Court proceedings of his petition in which he has claimed publication of the leaked Niira Radia tapes violated his right to privacy.
He attended the hearing for almost two hours during which his counsel senior advocate Harish Salve stressed before a bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi the issue of right to privacy. The senior counsel said if government cannot protect privacy, it should stop intercepting of telephonic conversations.
It was a constitutional right and there has to be a balance between this and public safety and privacy. “It was not for the executive but for the judiciary to decide it,” Salve said.
The transcripts on corporate lobbyist Radia’s conversation with several politicians, media-persons and business tycoon including Tata got leaked in 2010, unraveling the 2G scam. Following the expose Tata had moved the SC criticising publication of his conversations.
Today was the first day he attended the proceedings of his petition. Attired in a grey suit, Tata arrived at 11 am in the packed courtroom and was seated on the benches meant for lawyers only.
Slamming the government for going slow on its probe to ascertain who leaked the transcripts, Salve said an independent review committee should be formed to examine the contents of the leaked Radia tapes and take a decision whether they have to be preserved or destroyed. He pleaded for a direction from the court to ensure that conversations tapped by government agencies in the “Radia tapes” affair are not leaked and misused.
Later, Tata Sons, in a statement, said, “Ratan Tata has filed this writ petition on a matter of principle. He believes privacy is an important right for every individual and is keenly following the progress of this case.”