New Delhi, Jan 14 (Agencies): The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and the Central government on a petition seeking vacation of the stay on the publication and broadcast of controversial telephonic conversations between him and some politicians and Bollywood stars.

The conversations were tapped allegedly unauthorisedly by a private service provider on a forged authorisation.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly asked Singh and the government to file their responses on the plea by an NGO Centre For Public Interest Litigation seeking the court's direction to vacate the gag order which was ordered by former Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal in 2006.

The bench passed the order after allowing the NGO plea to be impleaded in the case in larger public interest.

The NGO, while pleading removal of the gag order, contended the way of recording such conversations may not be proper but if the conversations revealed illegal and shady deals then it was in public interest to expose these.

The court, after a brief hearing, adjourned the case for February 1.

Terming the unauthorised tapping of telephone of any person as a "very serious matter affecting the privacy of an individual",  the apex court had on February 27, 2006, passed the stay order against the media from publication and telecast of contents of tapped  conversations.

The court had also issued notices to eight telephone companies, both in government and private sector, to make them as parties to a petition by Amar Singh, raising the issue of tapping of his phone "illegally" on two forged letters of Delhi government Home Secretary and a Joint Commissioner (Crime), Delhi Police.