Undoubtedly, the privacy of Ratan Tata has been infringed: He has a private life and has every right to abuse, gossip, flirt, fantasize, crib, dream, etc., in his private life; no body has any right to listen to him sans permission unless he talks to some person performing some public duty (directly or indirectly) with respect to some public affair. Nira Radia might have acted as a public person in some of her talks, but not in case of Ratan Tata (I have only listened to the black gown conversation, don’t know about others). The test is whether the taped conversation between Nira Radia & Ratan Tata can be divulged under the RTI Act. My answer is no.
Now, let us see whether he can get any relief from the Supreme Court. My answer is again no. The right to privacy under article 21 of the Indian Constitution is available against the state, not private persons, and this is the law at present; so, Ratan Tata can’t get any injunction against the private press under article 32 r/w article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Personally, I am against this law and have also tried contesting it in the past but was not even heard; and, I don’t see any reason why Ratan Tata would be heard.
The crux of the matter is that, in India, we don’t have the American “Due Process of Law”. BTW, the American “Due Process of Law” wouldn’t help Ratan Tata in America, but, in India, it can help by virtue of article 21 of the Indian Constitution: The Maneka Gandhi Judgment read along with some of the constitutional amendments carried out thereafter can bring in “Due Process of Law” in India through back door by breaking some of the concepts established in the Maneka Gandhi Judgment. I hope Ratan Tata’s lawyer can do it, and I hope, thereafter, the corporates stop infringing the privacy of others: they are the biggest culprits.
©2010 Ankur Mutreja