Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata has sought a probe by a “skilled” independent agency into the leakage of controversial tapes containing conversations of Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with him and others, saying the probe conducted so far “hardly inspires public confidence”.

Mr. Tata, who filed an affidavit before the apex court, said the government and its agencies had failed to protect the secrecy of the tapped conversations and an independent probe was required as the wire tap was done at a “fairly high level” in government departments.

“On this account (leakage of tapes), the department, which conducted the wire tap, has been under the scrutiny. Since this is all done at a fairly high level within the departments, for any inquiry to be fair and transparent, it would have to be by done by an outside agency skilled in making investigations — this has not been done,” Mr. Tata said in his affidavit.

“There is an indelible impression that the inquiry may well exonerate the department and pass the blame for this lapse to outsiders,” Mr. Tata added.

He said “the inquiry conducted so far is not of that quality as would inspire public confidence on account of the structure of the inquiry”.

Mr. Tata said the intercepted phone calls were a property of the government and its disclosure was violation of his right to privacy and also the Officials Secrets Act.

“The petitioner respectfully asserts that his rights to privacy has been violated by the failure of the Union of India and its authorised agents to adhere strictly to the required safeguards for protecting a citizen’s right to privacy,” he said.

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