Supreme Court seeks Centre's stand on plea for preserving tapes

Counsel fears they will be destroyed or will disappear

December 01, 2010 01:21 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:28 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Centre's response to a plea that the tapes containing conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and others relating to the 2G spectrum scam be preserved safely.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly asked Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam to take instructions from the government on the submissions of advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), on the need for preserving these tapes prepared by the Directorate-General of the Income Tax Department.

Though Mr. Subramaniam said there would be no difficulty in preserving the tapes, the Bench wanted him to take instructions so that an appropriate order could be passed. Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said the investigating agency would authenticate the tapes, make a copy and submit it to the court in a sealed cover.

Justice Singhvi also expressed reservations about CVC P.J. Thomas objectively supervising the investigation being conducted by the CBI into the 2G spectrum allocation. For, Mr. Thomas was Telecom Secretary at the time of the spectrum allocation and he justified the action, which was being scrutinised by this court and the CBI.

Earlier, Mr. Bhushan read out the main editorial page article published in The Hindu on November 29 on the Radia tapes, explaining how businessmen were influencing the decision-making process. He said the lobbyists of businessmen were acting as “wheeler dealers,” influencing parliamentarians to act as agents of big companies to get tax concessions with retrospective effect and were even controlling parliamentary proceedings and to some extent the judiciary. He expressed an apprehension that the tapes might be destroyed or would disappear, as did some important papers connected with the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai.

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