M A I N   N E W S

Govt suspected Radia of spying for foreign agencies
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 10
The Income-Tax Department today informed the Supreme Court that some of the conversations corporate lobbyist Niira Radia had with journalists, industrialists and politicians were ‘quite sensitive’ and were shared with the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The department began intercepting the telephones of Radia following a complaint received by the Finance Minister on November 16, 2007, alleging that the corporate lobbyist had within a ‘short span of nine years built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore, that she was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies and that she was indulging in anti-national activities.’

Since an analysis of the intercepts of Radia’s telephonic talks ‘suggested that some of the conversations were quite sensitive,’ the department shared the information with the IB and the CBI on November 16, 2009. These details are given in an affidavit filed by the department’s Additional Director Sushil Kumar in response to the December 2 SC notice on Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata’s plea for stopping publication of such conversations. The SC has fixed the next hearing on the Tata plea for December 13.

Under the government guidelines, all law enforcement agencies were required to share information and records relating to matters involving ‘national security, terrorism, money-laundering, corruption, tax evasion’ and other crimes. After analysing the conversations, the CBI informed the tax department on November 16, 2009, that it was reliably learnt that “certain middlemen, including Radia of Neosis Consultancy, were actively involved in a criminal conspiracy.” The affidavit did not give details of the conspiracy.

In the affidavit, the I-T Department authenticated the leaked telephonic conversations of Radia, some of which related to the 2G Spectrum scam.

“It is not possible or practical for the government to take steps to retrieve the various copies of some of the transcripts which have appeared in the print media or in the electronic media and which are being circulated on the internet,” the affidavit said, confirming 
the authenticity of the conversations published in the media.

It, however, ruled out the possibility of the recordings having been leaked out by its offices. If the telephone companies had leaked it, it was for the Telecom Ministry or any other competent authority to take further action. Nevertheless, the department was inquiring into the matter, the affidavit said. In his petition, Tata has also sought an inquiry into the Radia tapes leak.


l I-T Dept files affidavit in response to notice on Tata plea

l Authenticates tape content, says it’s very sensitive

l Informs court that it kept IB, CBI in loop

l Complaint to FM in 2007 mentioned Radia as a spy

l She built up Rs 300-cr business empire in 9 years





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