New Delhi: The police has been asked to conduct a preliminary inquiry into a Supreme Court lawyer’s allegations that the Essar Group tapped phone conversations of corporate chiefs, cabinet ministers and bureaucrats between 2001 and 2006, the central government told the Delhi High Court on Monday.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal reserved the order on a petition of advocate Suren Uppal for a court-monitored inquiry by a special investigation team (SIT) into the allegations.
On being asked by the court about steps taken by the government, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said: “The government has taken a decision to request the Commissioner of Police (Delhi) to conduct a preliminary inquiry into what he (lawyer) is saying.”
Uppal claimed that he has filed the petition on the basis of CDs of the recorded conversations whose genuineness also he wants to be examined.
Uppal said he had come to know of the “illegal and unlawful acts of tapping” done allegedly at the behest of the Essar by one of its employees, who has now left the company.
Uppal in his public interest litigation (PIL) has named a top Essar official and Albasit Khan as respondents in the matter. Khan is a former Essar employee who, according to Uppal’s complaint to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, allegedly handled the tapping of VVIPs for five years.
The lawyer has alleged that from 2001 to 2006 phones of some of the prominent citizens, including ministers, top government officials and corporate houses, were tapped and intercepted for deriving undue advantages. Essar Group has denied all charges.