SC seeks AG''s response on making Radia tape public

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The Supreme Court today soughta response from the Attorney General on a petition seekingcomplete disclosure of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia''stelephonic conversations with various public figures.

A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A KGanguly asked the Attorney General G E Vahanvati to file hisresponse within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing onMarch 8.

The tapes reportedly include her conversations withministers and corporate czars, which were recorded by thegovernment in 2008-09.

The plea for disclosure of the entire content of Radiatapes was made by an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation(CPIL), which in its petition named, besides former TelecomMinister A Raja and Tata conglomerate chief Ratan Tata,various politicians, ministers, bureaucrats and journalists asbeing only a phone call away from her.

The others whom the petitioner named as having hadconversations with Radia included former Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee''s foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya, TamilNadu chief minister M Karunanidhi''s wife Rajathi Ammal, hisdaughter Kanimozhi, and senior journalists Vir Sanghvi andBarkha Dutt.

The government had ordered taping of Radia''stelephonic conversations following a complaint to the FinanceMinistry that she had built up a business empire worth Rs 300crore within a short span. The complaint also alleged she wasan agent of foreign intelligence agencies and was indulging inanti-national activities.

Pleading for making all 5800 conversations public, theNGO contended it would "reveal the way the Indian governmentis run by selling national interests for corporate greed andsacrificing long-term public interests for private lucre." PTIAAC RKS

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