The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a writ petition for a direction to the Centre to release all 5,800 conversations of Niira Radia tapped by government agencies.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.S. Nijjar was hearing the petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation and posted the matter for further hearing on February 2, along with the petition filed by industrialist Ratan Tata on the same issue. The CPIL also wanted the court “to frame guidelines that protect public whistle-blowers.”
The petitioner said: “Public interest requires that the conversations in the Radia tapes be brought into the public domain so that the citizens' right to know is effectuated by informing them how every aspect of their government as well as institutions such as the media, are being subverted.
“The public exposure was made possible through recent leaks of wire-tapped conversations between one Niira Radia and various persons. These conversations have revealed how the subversion of government decisions, government policy, even discussions and law-making in Parliament, the reportage of stories in the media, and even Cabinet formation by powerful corporates in their commercial interest is successfully achieved by paid lobbyists/brokers/fixers.
“The conversations also bring into sharp focus, the large magnitude and range of corruption that has invaded virtually all the important institutions of government in this country, be it the bureaucracy in policy-making or its implementation, be it the law-makers in legislation or policy approvals, the judiciary in rendering judgments on extraneous considerations or the media in fabricating news to influence policy.”