The government is making an arrangement for market regulator Sebi getting access to call data records of people being probed by it in specific cases, but it will not get power to directly tap the phone calls, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said.
"... Some arrangement is being made that the call data records will be supplied through the agencies entitled to get them to Sebi," Chidambaram said.
"They (Sebi) won't have the power to directly tap into the phone calls. Records can be made available to them by the authorities concerned. Some progress is being made," he said.
He was replying to queries about Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) seeking access to call data records of people being investigated by it in cases related to the stock markets.
Asked about intelligence reports of some terror groups pumping in money in the stock market, Chidambaram said he was sure that Sebi would look into the matter if tainted money was flowing into the stock market.
Observing that the matter falls into the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry, Chidambaram said: "I can't conduct an enquiry into terror groups putting money into the stock market. If tainted money is flowing into the stock market, I'm sure Sebi will look into it. Intelligence reports are shared with Sebi also. I've no machinery to look into it, except Sebi."
On Sebi's demand for access to call data records, Chidambaram said: "I think some progress was made to make available to Sebi the call data records in specific cases, where an investigation is being done and they want call data records (for their investigation), I think some progress is being made, some arrangement is being made..."
Sebi Chairman U K Sinha had last month said that the market regulator has asked the government to provide it access to call data records of those suspected to have violated insider trading and other norms in the securities market.
Talking about comparison with insider trading cases in the US, such as the one involving Indian-origin banker Rajat Gupta, Sinha had said that investigation tools available with the American regulators are much more different.
"On the issue of tools for investigations, the case that you have cited, you know the methods that were used to crack that case," Sinha said, referring to the phone call records of people in the insider trading case involving Rajat Gupta.