Radia tapes: Centre, CBI asked to file replies
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file replies on a plea seeking to direct the government to take action on findings of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) which found “irregularities” in some business transactions after examining Niira Radia tapes.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda also asked former Tata chief, Ratan Tata who has filed a plea for not making public tapped conversations of Radia, to file reply within a week.
Immediately after the order was passed and the matter was adjourned for December 2 for hearing of cases arising out of Radia’s tapped conversation, senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, appearing for Open Magazine, strongly objected for deferment of hearing.
Dhawan pleaded that the court should hear the case on Wednesday itself and he be allowed to argue on behalf of the magazine against Tata’s petition but the court turned down his plea.
An agitated Dhawan said, “It is highly unfortunate. I don’t want to say this at a time when my lordship is retiring but I have to say it is highly unfortunate.”
“You are denying me an opportunity to respond on the plea. It is highly arbitrary,” he further said.
Taking exception to Dhawan’s submission, Justice Singhvi recused himself from the case and said the matter be listed before another bench.
In the plea filed by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), referred to a purported letter written by the investigating officer to the Director of SFIO and submitted that cases of serious corporate fraud were allegedly brought out against them which need to be probed.