Home / Politics / Policy /  Supreme Court laments leak of confidential court documents

New Delhi: The country’s top judge on Thursday expressed concern at the leak of confidential documents and names handed over to the Supreme Court as part of proceedings in sensitive cases—like the one it is hearing on 2G spectrum allocations.

“(We) don’t understand, how does a name in report get in the media?" said Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, who was presiding over a three-judge bench. “We try to take precautions. We try to maintain confidentiality," he said, adding that keeping documents under sealed covers had lost its significance.

The comments came after two newspapers on 20 April named a person—an accused—against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had allegedly sought to register a first information report (FIR) for forgery in the 2G case.

The CBI, through special counsel for the 2G cases K.K. Venugopal, said that it was “prepared to register an FIR and investigate" these leaks. Venugopal said it would be a “lesson for the future", adding that this was not a one-off and that such leaks happened frequently.

Dattu also expressed concern over whether the leaks were happening through court staff, but Venugopal sought to reassure him saying this had also happened with other documents with the CBI.

One of the other judges on the bench, justice S.A. Bobde asked if these documents could fall within the ambit of the Official Secrets Act. Venugopal replied that would depend on the nature and content of the document.

While the court set the case for 23 July to be heard by a specially constituted bench, it took heed of petitioner Subramanian Swamy, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, regarding the CBI’s investigation into the Aircel-Maxis deal.

The Aircel-Maxis deal refers to the alleged involvement of former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and several others in stalling approvals to telecom service provider Aircel.

Further, Aircel’s owner, C. Sivasankaran was allegedly forced to sell his company to Mauritius-based Maxis Ltd, owned by Ananda Krishnan. Krishnan apparently invested Rs629 crore in Maran’s Sun Group in exchange. Swamy sought to know if the CBI, in its status report submitted to the court, had admitted to investigating the Aircel-Maxis case.

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