Niira Radia case: More dimensions came to fore during in-camera proceedings, says SC

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The Supreme Court Thursday said a few more dimensions had come to fore following an unusual two-hour-long, in-camera proceedings in the Radia tapes case wherein classified information was shared by the Centre with the court.

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"Some more dimensions have come to light... We will let you know," a bench led by Justice G S Singhvi told advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for NGO CPIL.

The proceedings before the bench, also comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda, began at 10.30 am and continued till 12.30 pm, during which only two additional solicitor generals representing the government and the CBI, with a few officers to assist, were allowed inside courtroom.

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After the hearing, ASG L N Rao informed Bhushan and the counsel assisting senior advocate Harish Salve, who appears for Ratan Tata, that the matter will now come up for hearing on October 1. Bhushan sought to know the reason for adjourning the matter for more than a month. The bench told him about the magnitude of the case and assured he would be informed of developments on or after October 1.

The bench had on August 27 decided to hold in-camera proceedings on a submission by Salve who noticed that open-court hearing constrained the government's counsel from reading out some material records. Buttressing his point that in-camera proceedings were not unknown for sensitive cases, Salve had referred to such proceedings by the SC in the hawala case in 1996.

Accepting his suggestion, the bench decided to have in-camera proceeding so that Rao could read out all relevant material, including inquiry reports and transcripts. Acknowledging that 5,800 recorded conversations by Radia involved names, the bench maintained that nobody's reputation be tarnished without giving him or her an opportunity to speak.

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