The government today told the Supreme Court that it was taking seriously the issue of leakage of phone-tap conversations between Tata Group chief Ratan Tata and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
"The government views the disclosure of such information seriously and in this context, an inquiry has been ordered," an affidavit filed by the government said.
It also denied the allegation of Tata that it had adopted a lackadaisical attitude on a petition filed by Tata. "I deny that the government ... is standing by and allowing leaked material of this kind to be freely distributed and published," the two-page affidavit filed by the additional director of income tax (Investigations) said.
This is a marked change in the government's earlier ''we are not to be blamed'' attitude. In its 7 January affidavit to the apex court, it had said that the leak did not happen from its side and that little could be done about the excerpts of conversations already leaked to print and electronic media.
"It is not possible or practical for the government to take steps to retrieve the various copies of some of the transcripts which appeared in print and electronic media and which are being circulated on the internet," it had said.
The government had also contended that the income tax department cannot take action against any cell phone service provider who may have been responsible for "unauthorised supply of information".