The Supreme Court today issued notices to Central Government and Essar Group while hearing a public interest litigation filed by CPIL, a NGO in relation to demand for a court monitored investigation in the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and journalists to promote Essar's business interests.
Both Essar and the Central Government have been given the time period of 6 weeks to reply to the notices. The PIL was filed after a whistleblower went public with internal communications at Esssar and the petitioner has attached the correspondences to the petition.
However, the Bench led by Justice Thakur did not ask CPIL to disclose the identity of the whistleblower or to implead all parties named in the PIL.
The PIL has sought a CBI probe or investigation by a special investigation team to investigate matters which affect matters of public policy. The PIL has also sought framing of guidelines to regulate relationships of big corporate with individuals in power.
Reportedly, the PIL states, “indicate how Essar has been cultivating ministers, politicians, bureaucrats and journalists in order to serve its business interests.” and “Essar, in turn, apparently gets favoured from such influential persons who can take executive decisions, change public policies, raise questions in Parliament, leak confidential government documents and plant stories in the media. This information is being placed before the Hon’ble Court by the petitioner’s society for its kind consideration and appropriate directions.”
Regarding the source of information, the petition reportedly states that the same has been obtained, “through a confidential source whose identity needs to be fully protected” as a “whisteblower.”"
The PIL also states that the communications, “revealed how major corporates like Essar manage to influence the political executive, the bureaucracy, the police and the media in order to serve its business interests rather than public interest which they are legally obligated to uphold”.
It also states that Essar allegedly “attempted to bribe by bestowing favours on ministers, top politicians, bureaucrats and police officers in violation of various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.”
Drawing a similarity with the Nira Radia tapes case, the PIL states that the nexus between business and government should be cracked down upon and “The nation was shocked when recently several arrests were made and FIR lodged in connection with secret and confidential papers being systematically copied and allegedly passed over to powerful commercial interests.”
You may also read Essar Leaks: CPIL files PIL in SC seeking a Court monitored investigation by CBI or SIT.