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SC seeks feedback from Centre on Amar Singh's telephone tapping

February 02, 2011 20:24 IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday took serious note of unauthorised phone tapping by private telecom companies and sought Centre's response on the action taken against Reliance Infocom for intercepting politician Amar Singh's telephone five years ago.

"The Attorney General should inform the court about the action taken on the showcause notice issued to Reliance Infocom on December 31, 2005," a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.

The showcause notice was issued to the company by the government on a complaint filed by Singh about tapping of his conversation in 2005. The bench also expressed its displeasure against Reliance Infocom for not furnishing full details about the case before the court saying that its affidavit was "vague" in a very serious matter.

"You (Reliance Infocom) have to show us the records. You have to show us which particular agency asked to intercept the telephone. You have to tell us which agency asked you to tape as in our country there are so many law enforcing agencies," the bench said.

"Why didn't you mention these aspects in your affidavit. The affidavit is absolutely vague," it added before asking Reliance Infocom to bring original records pertaining to the case, which had been given to the Delhi police for probe.

During the hearing, the bench also disapproved of the manner in which various parties filed the affidavit on Singh's petition, moved in 2006, alleging tapping of his telephone by the government for "political reasons".

"We found that the affidavits were not in consonance with the law," the bench said, adding it was a very serious matter but the officials were very casual in their approach.

The bench asked the Delhi government to place before it the status report on the case in which four persons have been chargsheeted. It directed Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to instruct Delhi Police to file its affidavit in accordance with the law and posted the matter for further hearing on February 9.

During the hearing, the bench was informed by Subramanium that the conversation was tapped on the basis of a "forged" letter.

Taking note that the letter for interception was forged and there was no involvement of government agencies, the bench said Singh could file suit against the private company.

However, senior advoacte Harish Salve, appearing for Singh, stressed that the matter should be heard by the apex court as the petition has raised the issue of "unauthorised" tapping of telephone and "cosy" relations between the government and some telecom service providers.
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