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SC pulls up Income Tax department, CBI for not acting on information
August, 03rd 2013

The Supreme Court today sharply criticised the IT Department and the CBI for not taking any action on the controversial Niira Radia tapes, saying it was "not a happy situation" that every government action should only follow court orders.

In the tapes, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is heard lobbying on behalf of some companies with influential persons and decision-makers. The court had earlier asked a joint team of IT and CBI officials to produce transcripts of these 5,800 conversations. On Wednesday, the court said these raised "uncomfortable" questions on the manner in which government decisions were taken.

The conversations were tapped five years ago, but the government remained idle, a bench, comprising Justices GS Singhvi and Gopala Gowda observed.

"The tapping was done five years ago, what have they (government agencies) done so far? Were they waiting for court order," the bench asked. "It is not a happy situation that action will be taken only after a court order." The bench asked the IT department to place before the bench all original records clearing the tapping of Radia's phones. The court asked the IT department, which had tapped Radia's phones on a complaint to the Finance Ministry, to inform it whether officers entrusted with the task informed their seniors about the contents of the recording. The bench sought to know whether the CBI was informed about criminal aspects of the conversations.

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