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Niira Radia

The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the central government on a petition seeking the disclosure of all telephonic conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia recorded by the Income Tax department.

The department taped her conversations while intercepting her telephone calls in the wake of a complaint that she had amassed huge wealth in a short period.

The petition was filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).The petition has sought court direction to the central government to release all the 5,800 conversations of Radia.It has also sought the framing of guidelines to protect whistle-blowers who make public disclosures in view of the citizens’ right to know.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.S. Nijjar issued the notice after senior counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that the petition had been filed in public interest and sought to enforce citizens’ right to know.

The CPIL pleaded for the court’s direction for the issuance of notification for the protection of the whistle-blowers who expose the murky deals in governmental transactions like the one that had come to surface in the 2G spectrum allocation scandal.

‘Protect the citizens’ right to know matters of public affairs and public interest, by declaring lawful the public dissemination of information that reveals how public affairs are run and other such matters of public interest,’ the petition said.

The matter would come up for hearing Feb 2.

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