SC notice to Amar Singh on revealing taped conversation

New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) The Supreme Court today sought aresponse from former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and thecentral government on a petition seeking vacation of the stayon the publication and broadcast of controversial telephonicconversations between him and some politicians and Bollywoodstars.

The conversations were tapped allegedly unauthorisedlyby a private service provider on a forged authorisation.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly askedSingh and the government to file their responses on the pleaby an NGO Centre For Public Interest Litigation seeking thecourt''s direction to vacate the gag order which was ordered byformer Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal in 2006.

The bench passed the order after allowing the NGO pleato be impleaded in the case in larger public interest.

The NGO, while pleading removal of the gag order,contended the way of recording such conversations may not beproper but if the conversations revealed illegal and shadydeals then it was in public interest to expose these.

The court, after a brief hearing, adjourned the case forFebruary 1.

Terming the unauthorised tapping of telephone of anyperson as a "very serious matter affecting the privacy of anindividual", the apex court had on February 27, 2006, passedthe stay order against the media from publication and telecastof contents of tapped conversations.

The court had also issued notices to eight telephonecompanies, both in government and private sector, to make themas parties to a petition by Amar Singh, raising the issue oftapping of his phone "illegally" on two forged letters ofDelhi government Home Secretary and a Joint Commissioner(Crime), Delhi Police.

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