No criminality found in Niira Radia tapes, CBI tells SC

Bench had taken up the case which includes Ratan Tata’s plea seeking right to privacy

September 21, 2022 05:58 pm | Updated 08:49 pm IST - New Delhi:

Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia. File.

Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) orally informed the Supreme Court that it could not find anything criminal in the intercepted conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with some politicians, businessmen, media persons, and others.

“I must inform you that the CBI was directed by your lordship to investigate all these conversations. Fourteen preliminary inquiries were registered and the report was placed before your lordships in a sealed cover. No criminality was found in those. Also, now there are phone-tapping guidelines in place,” Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the CBI, told a three-judge Bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

The Bench had taken up the case which includes industrialist Ratan Tata’s petition seeking right to privacy in view of the emergence of the Radia tapes.

The court posted the case for October 12, after the Dasara holidays, and asked the central agency to file a status report.

‘Make public’

One of the petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation had sought the transcripts of the Radia tapes to be made public. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, said Ms. Radia was a corporate lobbyist for two of the most important companies and there were allegations of attempts to influence public persons, etc.

In 2013, the apex court had directed a CBI probe into issues arising out of the analysis of Ms. Radia’s taped conversations while observing that “Radia’s conversations reveal deep-rooted malice by private enterprises in connivance with government officials for extraneous purposes”.

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