Radia tapes: SC seeks Centre reply on Tata plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought response from the government on whether it could share the probe report on leakage of controversial Radia tapes with Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhyay asked the Centre to file its response on Tata`s plea, seeking a copy of the report on the probe, which pointed out tampering of the tapes released to the media.

The court granted three weeks time to the government to file its reply and posted the matter for further hearing on March 27.

Earlier, the government had expressed reluctance in sharing the report on the ground that the investigation was still in progress to find out how the tapes of Radia`s conversations, tapped by Income Tax Department, got leaked.

The Centre had filed the report in a sealed envelop before the bench on January 31. In a significant disclosure, the Centre had on January 31 told the apex court that the Radia tapes broadcast by media organisations had been tampered with and the government agencies were not responsible for its leakage.

The government had said there were eight to ten agencies, including service providers, involved in tapping of telephonic conversation of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

The report said the starting and the end point of the conversation do not match with the original tapes, Justice Singhvi had said referring to the report. He had said the report also stated that officers, who had conducted the probe, did not know as to who had leaked it.

Earlier in 2010, the government, while maintaining that the issues raised by Tata group chief Ratan Tata in his petition relating to the Radia tapes leak required probe, had turned down his plea for taking steps to stop publication of the leaked transcripts in the media.

In February last year, the government had submitted to the apex court a copy of a complaint on basis of which it had begun tapping Radia`s telephonic conversations with several people including politicians, corporate leaders and media persons.

The complaint was given to the court in compliance with its December 13, 2010 order, which was passed on Tata`s plea for a probe into the leakage of tapes containing his private conversation with Radia and for stopping its further publication.

The government had told the court that it had begun tapping Radia`s telephone on a complaint alleging that she was indulging in anti-national activities and was acting as spy of foreign intelligence agencies.