NGO invokes public interest in making public Amar''s tape

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Citing WikiLeaks, an NGO todaysought complete diclosure of the controversial tappedconversation of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh with top corporatehonchos, politicians and bollywood stars.

If Wikileaks can make American government''s documentspublic then why Singh''s conversation cannot brought in publicdomain, asked Prashant Bhushan, counsel for NGO Centre forPublic Interest Litigation.

He submitted that most of the tapped conversationof Singh was related with functioning of differentinstitutions of our country and it is the right ofthe citizen to know it.

"Very few of the tapped conversation is private innature and most of it are public in nature. Some of it isrelated to awarding contract to corporate houses andjudicial appointments. Every person has a right to know howpublic authority functions," Bhushan said before a benchcomprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.

He also said there are conversations, the CD of whichis annexed with the petition, concerning "bench hunting" andmaking some remarks about a judge of the Allahabad High Court.

He submitted that the apex court should vacate its gagorder which was ordered by former Chief Justice Y K Sabharwalin 2006 on the broadcast and publication of Singh''sconversation which was illegaly tapped by Reliance Infocomm.

"WikiLeaks had got all the government documentsillegally and made public by putting them on its website. Nobody is trying to restrain it from doing so," he said addingthat the way of recording such conversations may not be properbut if the conversations revealed illegal and shady deals thenit was in public interest to expose these.

"Invasion of privacy cannot be a ground on whichinjunction can be granted for not publishing material relatedto conduct and behaviour of a public authority," he said.

The apex court had passed the gag order after Singhhad knocked at the doors of Supreme Court in January 2006seeking a judicial probe into the whole incident of tapping.

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 barring the media from publication and telecastof contents of the tapped conversations.

The court had also issued notices to eight telephonecompanies, both in government and private sector, to make themparties to the petition by Singh.

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