Citizens' Issues
Radia tape leakage: Government's probe hardly satisfactory says SC

The apex court also took strong exception to the Centre's failure to put in place a proper mechanism to prevent such leakage in future

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre over leakage of its taped conversation of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia saying its probe report is hardly satisfactory, reports PTI.

 

A bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya also took strong exception to the Centre's failure to put in place a proper mechanism to prevent such leakage in future.

 

"Those probe reports are hardly satisfactory. The less said the better. Somebody must be made accountable for the leakage," the bench said after the Centre submitted to it that the leakage has not been done on its part or by its officials.

 

"There is no reply on how to prevent such leakages in future. In future it will again happen. If you are not able to protect, then why you go for tapping," the bench observed.

 

It also said the probe report submitted by the government does not specifically give clean chit to any department.

 

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata had moved the apex court on 29 November 2010 for action against those involved in the leakage of the tapes saying that the leakage amounted to infringement of his fundamental right to life, which includes right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

 

The conversations were recorded by the government as part of surveillance of Radia's phone, ordered by the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) on a complaint received by the Finance Minister on 16 November 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years, she had built up a business empire worth Rs300 crore.

 

The government had recorded 180 days of Radia's conversations -- first from 20 August 2008 onwards for 60 days and then from 19th October for another 60 days. Later on 11 May 2009, her phone was again put on surveillance for another 60 days following a fresh order given on 8th May.

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COMMENTS

ashok sen

4 years ago

Mr. Ratan Tata must be naiive to make a statement that the leakage amounted to infringement of his fundamental right to life, which includes right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

How many of our politicians understand this fundamental right, and that he has been wronged.I am pained to say that the people of Ratan Tatas calibre, who constantly try and increase their shareholders wealth, in the best traditions of business,are a breed apart in this wretched country of ours.
I do not condone corruption, but what is worse is the totally indifferent attitude of our politicians to outright flouting of all decency in public life; the only aim is to enrich themselves, immaterial of what happens as a result of their actions.

CAG pulls up ONGC for being tardy in monetizing discoveries

According to CAG, while external benchmarking of performance was not done, nationally ONGC had among the lowest efficiency in drilling compared to private as well as central public sector enterprise like Oil India, which led to non-achievement of work commitments and payment of liquidated damages

 
New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) for not placing desired emphasis on discovering oil and gas and being tardy in monetizing its discoveries, reports PTI.
 
CAG's report on Hydrocarbon Exploration Efforts of ONGC, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, expressed concern at the company's lack of adequate efforts and results in new fields and wanted the Oil Ministry to reset annual targets set out in memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the company signs with the government.
 
"ONGC did not place the desired emphasis on its core exploration activity. Coupled with the low priority on exploration are the anomalies in MoU target setting and reporting as well as performance measurement which can potentially mislead the stakeholder," it said.
 
CAG said ONGC showcases a healthy reserve replacement ratio while production continues to remain static.
 
"ONGC was also tardy in monetizing its discoveries which contributed to low production," CAG said.
 
"While external benchmarking of performance was not done, nationally ONGC had among the lowest efficiency in drilling compared to private as well as central public sector enterprise (Oil India Ltd) which led to non-achievement of work commitments and payment of liquidated damages," it said.
 
The official auditor also noted several deficiencies in operations like procurement, hiring and contracting.
 
"Though ONGC operates in a field of cutting edge technology, it did not have a system of independent assessment of its technical capacity which fails to assure its stakeholders," it said. 
 
"Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas/ONGC ought to do a de-novo review of MoU targets placing desired emphasis on performance parameters directly linked to exploration.
 
"It should also be ensured that such targets and achievements are measured and reported on an appropriate basis to avoid misleading the stakeholders," CAG said.
 
Listing out deficiencies, CAG said less than 50 per cent of the Basins were only able to meet 2D/3D survey targets as ONGC was tardy in purchase of seismic survey vessel.
 
ONGC lost the weather window for doing such surveys in offshore areas, due to delay in giving away of survey contracts.
 
"There was a shortfall of 332,855 metres and 109 wells in ONGC's exploration performance. Except Western Offshore Basin, none of the other Basins could drill the targeted exploratory wells," it said.
 
While ONGC-owned rigs were less efficient than the hired ones, the company took 7% to 16% extra days for drilling when compared to its own norms.
 
It recommended a review of reserve replacement ratio (RRR) as a performance parameter for ensuring performance in exploration efforts.
 
"ONGC should formulate Basin wise norms...speed up its processes for placement of survey contracts and efficient coordination to bridge the gap between requirement and availability/utilisation of the equipment and services procured to meet its exploration goals," it said.
 
The company, CAG said, should introduce transparency and competitive tension in the process of hiring consultants/experts.
 
"As suggested by the Planning Commission and as decided by its Board, ONGC must carry out an independent assessment of technology in vogue in the company to provide an assurance that it is indeed up-to-date," CAG report added.
 

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TRAI issues draft to amend ads on TV channel

As per the draft regulation, the Regulator would allow TV channels to show twelve minutes of ads per hour

New Delhi: In order to provide flexibility to broadcasters, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a draft regulation which, if finalised, would allow channels to show twelve minutes of advertisements on a clock-hour basis, reports PTI.

 

Sources said that as per the regulations released earlier TRAI had laid down that channels can show twelve minutes of ads per hour but commercial breaks should be so spaced that there is a fifteen minute gap between them.

 

"Some of the Broadcasters expressed difficulty in following such a rule especially in relation to the telecast of sports events and live programmes," a well-placed source said.

 

"Taking into consideration the issues raised by the broadcasters, the Authority has decided to review the Standards of Quality of Service (Duration Of Advertisements in Television Channels) Regulations, dated 14 May 2012," TRAI said in a statement.

 

In a note TRAI has put on its website, it said "the quantum of permissible duration of advertisements carried in the television programmes has been specified in the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994."

 

"It is worth mentioning here that the provisions in the principal regulation does not attempt to disturb the time limit fixed by the central government of twelve minutes and so the same duration was prescribed in the principal regulations dated 14th May 2012," it added.

 

In the new draft note on its website, TRAI said the duration of advertisements carried, during the programmes, in the TV channels is closely related to the quality of viewing experience of the consumers.

 

"Accordingly, the Authority has decided that the restriction on maximum duration of advertisements carried in the programmes of a TV channel, as prescribed in the Cable Television Networks rules, shall be regulated on a clock-hour basis," TRAI said in its draft amendment statement.

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