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SC sets up team to scan Radia tapes

Posted on Feb 21, 10:54PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 21 : The Supreme Court Thursday set up a six-member team to scan the transcripts of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's telephone intercepts to determine if there was any conversation pointing to moves that violated the law and warranted prosecution.

The team was asked it to submit its report in four months.

A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J.Mukhopadhaya said: "The team will have five officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and one from Income Tax department."

The team will work under the supervision of two senior CBI officers. It will be supervised by a superintendent of police (SP) rank official and the entire set up would be under a deputy inspector general of the premier investigative agency, the court said.

Radia and her associates' phones were put under surveillance by the Income Tax department after the home ministry received an anonymous letter alleging her foreign connections and her spectacular rise in a short span of a few years.

The intercepts of Radia's telephones led to the unearthing of the 2G scam.

The transcripts run into 12,000 pages in 49 volumes. The CBI, during the Feb 13 hearing of the matter, told the court that it would prepare subjectwise, ministrywise and timewise reports for the consideration of the court and further action.

The apex court then cautioned the investigating agency against any portion of the transcript going public.

"Any (portion) of the transcript going to public is absolutely ruled out and we will take a serious view," the court said.