New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday began in-camera proceedings in the former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia phone tapping case for knowing the Centre's stand and perusing "top secret" documents which formed the basis for interception of her calls.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda had on August 27 decided to hold in-camera proceedings barring lawyers, other than government counsel and its officers including from CBI and Income Tax Department, and media persons from the hearing.
Although in-camera proceedings are normal in trial courts in sensitive cases, in the Supreme Court this is the second time that such hearing is being conducted in recent years. The last time such a proceeding took place in the apex court was in the hawala case in 1996.
The apex court had decided on in-camera hearing after it found that many controversial and sensitive information and names of people figure in the various reports disclosure of which in public domain could harm national interest and could tarnish the image of people till they were established.
Today's in-camera proceedings will be confined to the bench perusing the government's confidential report and the Centre's submission on the issue.
The conversations were recorded as part of surveillance of Radia's phone on a complaint to the Finance Minister on November 16, 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years she had built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore.