’s most outspoken bureaucrat and home secretary of the country, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that corporate lobbyist Niira Radia tapes that got leaked to the Indian media barely scratch the surface of the stuff that will be at the heart of the government’s investigation. In a Wall Street Journal article titled, “Pillai: Real Radia tapes are coming”, home secretary was quoted as saying that all the Radia tapes might become public at some point anyway as the Supreme Court has asked for a full set of copies and can be petitioned to release them eventually. Then, “you can’t do pick and choose,” he said. “Everything will come out,” the US-based financial daily quoted Pillai as saying. India
Pillai did not however mention how it got leaked as the government is currently investigating the leakage to the media. Pillai is a 1972 batch IAS officer and a batch-mate of
’s Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai who was instrumental in bringing the entire 2G spectrum scam into the forefront by calculating that the doling out of spectrum without auction could lead to a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government. India
Roughly 100 tapes containing “juicy elements” got leaked to the media, but the remaining 5,000-plus recordings contain the details which would assist investigators, Pillai told the newspaper, adding that the parts that have come out are not really connected to the investigation. He further said that many honchos of India Inc. have called him to figure out whether they are being tapped.
Is your phone being tapped?About 6,000 to 8,000 wiretaps happen all the time. Home secretary needs to give a go-ahead for tapping any phone conversation. It must be for the purpose of an investigation, and investigators need to submit some evidence in the form of a document, an email or bank statement etc. that a suspect has done something illegal. Once the home secretary gives permission, it remains valid for 60 days, but if more conversations need to be tapped, the permission is to be renewed. Home secretary’s authorization of phone tapping is reviewed every two weeks by a committee of secretary comprising cabinet secretary, telecom secretary and law secretary. Phones of elected Members, whether MPs or MLAs are not being tapped by law, but if they happen to talk to someone whose phone is being tapped, the MP or the MLA would also be caught in the process.