India’s Supreme Court on Monday directed the government to table a copy of the complaint in the court in a sealed cover against corporate lobbyist Nira Radia that led to tapping of her telephonic conversations with a host of people including political leaders, corporate honchos and journalists.
The court heard Tata group chairman Ratan Tata’s petition which sought stoppage of further publication of the leaked conversations between him and Radia.
Last week, the government had told the court in an affidavit that it had begun tapping Radia’s phone based on a complaint that she had built a 3-billion rupee business empire within a short span of nine years.
The complaint had also alleged that Radia was indulging in anti-national activities and that she was acting as a spy of foreign intelligence agencies.
A Supreme Court bench comprising G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly allowed Ratan Tata to file another affidavit and respond to the government affidavit on his petition by the first week of January 2011.
The bench posted the case for next hearing on February 2 after the two news magazines Open and Outlook file their replies within three weeks.
India’s investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation will not file an affidavit in this matter, Attorney General G E Vahanvati said.
Advocates appearing for the two news magazines on Monday questioned the maintainability of Ratan Tata’s petition saying that the petition was not in public interest but was aimed at protecting his private interest.
A lawyer appearing for Outlook magazine said Tata’s writ petition did not even raise cause of action for being entertained by the court and Tata had raised questions which did not figure in the petition.