The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Attorney General to file its response on a petition seeking disclosure of Niira Radia’s telephonic conversation with many acclaimed public figures.
Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), an NGO, in its petition named former telecom minister A Raja and Tata chief Ratan Tata, various politicians, ministers, bureaucrats and journalists as being only a phone call away from her.
Pleading for making all 5,800 conversations public, the NGO contended it would “reveal the way the Indian government is run by selling national interests for corporate greed and sacrificing long-term public interests for private lucre.”
A bench comprising justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly asked the Attorney General
GE Vahanvati to file his response within two weeks and posted the next hearing on March 8.
The tapes reportedly include her conversations with ministers and corporate czars, which were recorded by the government in 2008-09.
The others whom the petitioner named as having had conversations with Radia included former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya, Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi’s wife Rajathi Ammal, his daughter Kanimozhi, and senior journalists Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt.
The government had ordered taping of Radia’s telephonic conversations following a complaint to the finance ministry that she had built up a business empire worth R300 crore within a short span. The complaint also alleged she was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies.