Tata slams phone tapping, may move SC against Radia tapes | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Tata slams phone tapping, may move SC against Radia tapes

delhi Updated: Nov 28, 2010 15:39 IST

Critical of the "unauthorised" release of tapes of his conversation with PR consultant Niira Radia, the USD 73 billion Tata group chief Ratan Tata may move the Supreme Court tomorrow to seek action against those behind the leakage.

Tata may invoke Article 32 of the Constitution, claiming that his Right to Life, which includes right to privacy, has been breached by the leakage of these tapes.

Under Article 32, any person who feels that his fundamental rights are violated can straightaway move the highest court of the country seeking redressal of the grievance.

The petition, where Union of India is sought to be made a respondent, seeks that responsibilities be fixed on who leaked the tapes - recorded by the Income Tax authorities in 2008 and 2009 - that were meant for investigation.

Asked about the petition and its details, a Tata group spokesperson declined to comment.

Some of the conversations between Tata and Radia, whose PR firms have been engaged by the group, relate to personal details that could no way be part of investigation, Tata is expected to argue in the petition.

In the wake of 2G spectrum allocation scam allegedly involving Rs 1.76 lakh crore, some magazines published taped conversations Niira had with politicians, journalists and industrialists. Some of these tapes have also come up on various websites, stirring a major controversy over the alleged nexus between the lobbyists and journalists.

In an interview to NDTV on Thursday last, Tata had said that the agencies had been given a special right to be able to invade people's privacy for national security or for enforcement of law.

"So they can do so. That additional power is a very special power which has to be exercised with a sense of responsibility. The content needs to be held for prosecution purpose and not be misused, and certainly to go out to have a field day with.

"There doesn't seem to be prosecution on the one end and there doesn't seem to be confidentiality on the other," he said.

"I have listened to some of the tapes and you know I am not a Delhi resident... but I wonder to the great extent if other people's phones were tapped whether we would get similar kinds of conversation. I do not know if she has the power to influence the Cabinet appointments or anything of this nature," Tata said.

Asked about who could be behind these, Tata said, "It could be enemies in the government, corporate rivals, I couldn't say. It is not a natural thing."

He was responding to a question whether corporate rivals were behind the attack on Radia-led Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, which represents Tata Group firms.

In the face of uproar against the government over the alleged spectrum allocation scam, Tata group chief Ratan Tata has said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not deserve to face "humiliation".

"I want to say that it has hurt me to see what he (PM) has gone through in the past weeks... in Parliament... the pressure... the innuendos and the pressure he has been going through to resign and so on," Tata said in an interview to NDTV."