Nira Radia case: Ratan Tata doesn't want tapes leaked or misused

Aug 21, 2013, 22:00 IST | Agencies

Former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata Wednesday appeared in the Supreme Court and said that while ordering electronic surveillance on citizens allegedly under cloud, the government must strike a balance between public interest and the right to privacy.

With Ratan Tata making an appearance in the Supreme Court, his lawyer today submitted that 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.

Tata's senior counsel Harish Salve also 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.

Ratan Tata. File pic

He said the government has been "lackadaisical" in finding out how the tapped telephonic conversations of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with top politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen including him were leaked. 

Attired in a grey suit, Tata arrived at 11 AM in the packed courtroom and witnessed the proceedings for almost two hours during which Salve stressed before a bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi the issue of right to privacy. 

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." 

Salve, appearing before the bench also comprising Justice K S Radhakrishnan, said there is need for an independent panel as the committee which reviews intercepted calls is headed by the Cabinet Secretary who is too busy to look into numerous cases of phone tapping in the country. 

"There is a lackadaisical approach on the part of government in finding out the source of leakage. It has carefully designed to exculpate the Income Tax Department and its officials (who tapped the phone). They wanted to give themselves clean chit and pointing towards CBI for the leakage," he said.  

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