The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court (SC) that it found no criminality in 5,800 tapes of phone conversations by corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in 14 preliminary inquiries it conducted on SC’s directive. The Income-Tax Department had intercepted Radia’s phone calls in 2008-09.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud was hearing a plea by industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Tata for protection of his right to privacy given his phone conversations with Radia, asserting that the leakage of the tapes infringes upon his fundamental right to life, including right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Tata’s counsel sought an adjournment on the ground his client’s interests are affected because of another petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), seeking that the transcripts of all Radia tapes be made public in the larger interest.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan insisted on the revelation of the transcripts saying Radia was a corporate lobbyist for two of the most important companies, and there were attempts to influence public persons, including ministers, which was revealed in the leaked tapes.