Who recorded the alleged conversation between CBI special prosecutor AP Singh and Sanjay Chandra, managing director Unitech and one of the accused in the 2G spectrum scandal? Ideally, it should not matter at this point. The end result more than justifies the means. Without the recording, the larger story of shady alliances between the CBI prosecutors and the accused in big ticket cases would have remained out of public knowledge.
However, there are questions that we must ask. Without satisfactory answers to these, we would be exposing ourselves to unknown dangers. Here are the questions:
What was the motive behind the recording?
What more do the persons behind it know about 2G cases?
Were they being selective while releasing the tapes to the CBI?
It is obvious that it could not have been a random act, because such activity requires planning. So what was the exact modus operandi?
Was corporate rivalry behind the recording? If so, then there are bigger culprits in the entire episode than Chandra and Singh. In that case, the act does not remain morally justifiable.
Are the top secret conversations among the services chiefs or between the prime minister and someone else being recorded too?
By extension, are all private telephonic conversations among citizens of the country open to eavesdropping?
In the excitement over the latest expose, let’s not ignore the fact that there are people causing grave breach of individual privacy. Any person could be subject to blackmail on the basis of such recorded conversations. What could also be at risk is the vital secrets of the country. The intention here is not to run down the person who recorded the conversation between the Unitech chief and the CBI’s special prosecutor. The fact that the person/persons sent it to the CBI is laudable and their intention, at this point, remains beyond suspicion.
However, caution is important. The person might be under grave risk to his life after making the content of the tape public. His enemies and rivals would eventually identify him and track him down. He might need protection like all whistleblowers in the country do. Moreover, the authorities must understand how the recording took place and what more information is available with the person. They could keep it a secret, but they should be in the know. If anybody can access any telephonic conversation, the country’s security might come under threat.