Radia tapes: Centre to be heard in-camera

SupremeNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today decided to hold an in-camera hearing to know the Center’s stand and peruse “top secret” documents which formed the basis for intercepting former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia’s phone calls containing elements of alleged criminality in the talks.

“It is becoming more and more intriguing,” said a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda while going through the entire records placed by the Union Home Ministry regarding the recording of the conversations of Radia with coporates, politicians, journalists and others.

“On Thursday morning, we will hear you alone and you also ensure that all these will not come out in open,” the bench said after agreeing with senior advocate Harish Salve that the hearing has to be in closed doors as the Centre’s counsel L Nageshwar Rao has certain constraints in making the submission because of the “extremely serious nature of the matter”.

“He (Rao) is having some constraints in making submission in the open court as there are issues of national security. It will go to the media. I request you for holding in-camera hearing as it is an extremely serious matter,” Salve said.

Salve was appearing for former Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata whose petition against the leakage of the conversations was being heard by the court.

The bench said it will also hear the Additional Solicitor General who has been appearing for CBI in the matter as it would like to put some basic questions to the head of the probe team appointed by the apex court which submitted a report pointing out “criminality” in some conversations leaked to the media.

Salve said things have become “more mysterious” as when there were no transcription of the tapped conversations, how there were selective leakage in April and May 2010.

“Ask CBI to examine the first two leaks of April/May 2010.

It was limited and there was a corporate interest. It was not done innocously. First two leaks were focused, he submitted.-PTI

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