The Amar Singh phone tapping controversy on Thursday took a new twist with Supreme Court issuing notice to Samajwadi Party General Secretary as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for entering into conversation allegedly undermining the judiciary.
The apex court also sought his response on the plea for vacating its interim order putting a blanket ban on media for publishing the transcript of his conversation with several persons secured through "illegal tapping" of his telephone.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also sought the view of the Centre on the contention that Singh cannot be given court's protection as the nature of his conversation with various politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists, which despite being tapped illegally, clearly indicated that he was allegedly indulging in illegal activities.
The order was passed on two separate applications filed by an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), and Mumbai-based resident Devendra Mandavawal seeking intervention in the petition filed by Singh in 2006 for laying down fresh guidelines for tapping telephone conversations.
During the hearing, Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said new guidelines are already in place and the Centre had filed its affidavit in that regard on March 15 last year.
Vahanvati said if the court will dispose off Singh's petition in view of the guidelines already in place then the February 27, 2006 order restraining media from publishing the transcripts of the conversation will automatically go.
He was supported by senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for one of the parties, who said nothing survives in the petition filed by Singh after the guidelines have been laid down and it can be disposed off.