SC lifts gag order on Amar Singh tapes

Centre told to frame guidelines on telephone tapping to prevent misuse

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly also rapped the Rajya Sabha MP for his flip-flop and “attempt to mislead” the court while making charges against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and later withdrawing them.

The court also directed the Centre to frame proper guidelines for service providers in telephone tapping to prevent its misuse.

“The Central government must, therefore, frame certain statutory guidelines in this regard to prevent interception of telephone conversation on unauthorised communication, as has been done in this case,” Justice Ganguly said, writing the judgment. It dismissed the writ petition filed by 54-year-old Singh, terming it “frivolous and speculative in character”.

The court said that Singh, in the petition filed January 21, 2006, did not mention his statement recorded by the police.Singh had lodged an FIR with Delhi Police on December, 30, 2005, alleging that his telephone was tapped on a forged letter of a Joint Commissioner of Police by an employee of Reliance Infocomm Ltd, a service provider and others. Four persons arrested in the case are still facing trial.

The court vacated its interim order passed on February 27, 2006 restraining the media from making public contents of the controversial conversations, a portion of which pertaining to fixing of Allahabad High Court bench, was read out in the apex court when the case was being heard.

The court also expressed surprise how a Bench headed by then Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan had granted him relief in 2006.

In its order, the Bench also said that the service provider in the case had failed to fulfil its duty to act “carefully and with a sense of responsibility” in tapping the telephone.

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