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Updated: November 30, 2010 01:07 IST

Tata moves Supreme Court for CBI probe

J. Venkatesan
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A file photo of Ratan Tata. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu A file photo of Ratan Tata. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Publication of private conversations is a violation of right to privacy, he tells Supreme Court

Industrialist Ratan Tata moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a direction for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the leak of the tapes of his conversations with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

In a writ petition, Mr. Tata said the publication of his private conversations with Ms. Radia was a grave violation of his right to privacy. He sought a direction to ensure that there was no further leak of the tapes, if any, with the government or any department. Senior lawyer Harish Salve, who has settled the petition, is expected to argue the case when it comes up for hearing.

While recognising the government's right to intercept telephonic conversations, Mr. Tata said the tapes recorded during an income-tax surveillance of Ms. Radia in 2008 and 2009 should be used only for the “public purpose” of the probe and not for any other purpose. Some of his conversations with Ms. Radia, whose public relations firms were engaged by the Tata group, related to personal details that could in no way be part of an investigation warranting such interceptions.

Mr. Tata sought a direction for fixing the responsibility for the alleged leak. The respondents cited in the petition included the Union Home Secretary, the CBI and the Income-Tax Department. He wanted the broadcast and publication of the transcript to be stopped. The recording should be destroyed within six months from the date of the recording.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan who has filed a petition on the 2G scam told TheHindu that he would file an intervention application to oppose any such curbs on the publication of the transcripts.

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