A month after the cabinet formation, it is business as usual. They discuss an “income tax matter” for a client who has told them “We are in a fight. Hum logo ke survival ka sawaal hai”. Her client was unhappy that Radia & Co had not briefed journalists well. After all, she says “aisa to nahin…ki Raja ne samjahaya nahin hoga income tax ka implication.” What was the “implication”?
The conversations, which were recorded by investigators for the income tax department, raise serious issues about ministerial propriety.
The income tax sleuths had sought permission to tap the telephone of Radia, who was being investigated by the CBI and the income tax department in the telecom spectrum scam. These conversations were recorded of one year, starting from August 20, 2008.
Raja was lobbying hard to become the next telecom minister and was being helped in this endeavour by Radia.
The tapes led to accusations of misconduct by many of these people. Leading journalists in India were heard on the tapes acceding to requests from lobbyists to fix stories and run scripted interviews with politicians.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has announced that they have 5,851 recordings of phone conversations by Radia, some of which outline Radia’s attempts to broker deals in relation to the 2G spectrum sale.
The tapes appear to demonstrate how Radia attempted to use some media persons to influence the decision to appoint A. Raja as telecom minister. The original tapes are now annexures in a Supreme Court petition seeking Raja’s prosecution.
The opposition parties in India have demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, which could also to be extended to include a probe into the Radia tapes to ascertain the media’s role in the controversy.
The Government is also accused of selectively releasing merely 10 hours of the 2000 hours recorded of the Radia tapes. Home Minister P.Chidambaram expressed himself against leakage of telephone conversations tapped for investigations but felt “some of it is inevitable”.
Citation and source.
DMK with Congress.-Kanimozhi.