Bench dissatisfied with probe

Dissatisfied with the probe into the Niira Radia tapes issue, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Director General of Income Tax (DG-IT) to provide transcripts of the 5,800-odd controversial tapes.

A Bench of Justices G. S. Singhvi and S. J. Mukhopadhya directed that the DG-IT transcribe all the tapes and hand them over to the court in a sealed cover within two months. “Otherwise we will be proceeding on surmises and conjectures,” said Justice Singhvi.

The Bench earlier directed that these tapes be provided in a hard disk to the court for safe custody.

During the resumed hearing, it perused the files produced by Additional Solicitors General (ASGs) A. S. Chandihok and Harin Raval. Mr. Chandihok said the government had only analysed those portions required for investigation and had not fully transcribed the entire conversations. After analysis, the tapes were handed over to the CBI.

Justice Singhvi wondered how the review committee, which was supposed to look into the question whether the tapes should be retained for further investigation or be destroyed within the mandated 60 days, had exercised its statutory function. When Justice Singhvi wanted to know whether the IT investigation into the tapes was over, the ASG said it was still on.

Justice Singhvi told Mr. Raval these tapes were handed over to the CBI for investigation in connection with the 2G scam. “Three years have since passed. What has happened? Some of them seem to be dubious transactions which may affect national security. The issue seems more serious than the government failing to adhere to the review procedure,” Justice Singhvi observed.

More In: National | News