Indian PR consultant and lobbyist Nira Radia’s phone calls which were tapped and recorded, allegedly, by the Indian Income Tax Department in 2008-09 showed her lobbying for appointment of Cabinet Ministers ex DMK, including A Raja, through journalist Barkha Dutt and DMK chief Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi.
A British citizen, Nira Radia moved from England to Surajkund, India with her three sons after a divorce form Kutchi businessman, Janak Radia. In 2003, Dheeraj Singh, a business partner, was arrested with an accomplice for allegedly kidnapping her 18-year-old son. By 2008, Nira Radia was running a successful corporate communications enterprise in the form of Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, and operating through subsidiaries such as Neucom, Noesis Strategic Consulting Services and Vitcom Consulting.
She was subsequently involved in the 2G spectrum allotment in 2008 by lobbying with A Raja. The allotment resulted in the alleged swindling of $39bn as per BBC, in what is supposedly the biggest financial and economic crime in India till date.. The tapes which were first made public by the OPEN magazine.
After getting authorization from the Home Ministry, the Indian Income Tax department had tapped Radia’s phone lines for 300 days in 2008-2009, as part of their investigations into possible money laundering, restricted financial practices and tax evasion. These phone recordings led to the unveiling of the 2G spectrum scam of a record $40 billion involving former Telecommunications and IT Minister A. Raja and other politicians, corporates and industrialists, government officials, middlemen and media persons, which subsequently led to his resignation from his post. In the tapped conversations between Nira Radia and prominent figures, (referred to as the Radia Tapes), the following prominent figures are heard in conversation with Radia: A. Raja, Former telecom minister; Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha MP; Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons; Barkha Dutt, Group editor, English news, NDTV, Vir Sanghvi, HT advisory editorial director; M.K. Venu, Senior business journalist; Tarun Das, Former CII honcho; Prabhu Chawla, editor of India Today magazine; Suhel Seth, management guru and columnist; Rajdeep Sardesai.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) tells the Supreme Court of India in November 2010 that the role of Nira Radia in the 2G spectrum scam will be thoroughly investigated as the irregularities were of “enormous magnitude” having international ramification. The CBI also tells the Supreme Court, in a seven page affidavit, in November 2010 that it would complete the 2G spectrum investigation by March 2011, and that it is examining transcripts relating to Nira Radia’s 5,851 phone calls and 82,665 pages of documents.