The central government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was taking every step to ensure that there was no leakage of the telephone tapes of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia in the 2G spectrum scam and that the leaks to the media needed to be looked into.
The government said this in reply to Tata group chairman Ratan Tata’s petition seeking the enforcement of his right to privacy by restraining the media from publishing the transcripts of Nira Radia tapes in the 2G scam .
The government said it had sanctioned the tapping of Nira Radia’s phone and the leak to the media needed to be looked into. However, the apex court was told that their publication in media could not be stopped.
Tata has sought orders restraining the publication of the transcripts of the 5,851 telephonic conversations that Radia had with different people including politicians, bureaucrats and mediapersons in the course of the grant of licence for 2G spectrum.
In the course of the hearing of the petition, an apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly was told that Tata was not challenging the right of the statutory agencies to intercept and record the telephonic conversations but making those audios public was certainly a matter of personal concern.
He said that all the information could be put in a filter so that conversations which are strictly personal in nature are not released in the public domain.
The reputation of Ratan Tata was of great value not only to him but even for the commercial organization under the banner of the Tata Group of companies, the court was told.
The petition said that any dent in the commercial standing of the Tata Group’s companies, which are listed in the stock market, would hurt the interest of the investors who have stakes in these companies.
The matter will come up for hearing Dec 13.