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Essar Tapes: PMO Still Hasn’t Responded to SC Lawyer’s Complaint

The person who answered the call told us that the Essar tapes were being dealt with internally in the PMO and therefore, there was no need for the office to issue a complaint of registration number.

The Essar tapes reveal the alleged nexus between the bigwigs of the corporate world and ministers during the NDA-1 regime.

Status yeh hai kii aapka paper humare paas aagaya hai Humare office me aur high level me deal ho raha hai Internal information hum nahi dete kissi ko bhi Jab uske uuper koi decision hoga toh aapke ghar pe jaayega letter. (The status of your complaint is that we have received it. It is dealt at a high level. We cannot provide you internal information. We will send a letter to your house after a decision is made on the complaint.

PMO Staff, grievance Cell

Uppal, the complainant has repeatedly received a similar reply from the grievance cell.

I don’t know why PMO is silent on the matter. I will continue to pursue the matter in the court as all sensitive tapes are in my possession.

Suren Uppal, Supreme Court

The Quint was the first online news web portal to publish the audio and transcripts of some of the Essar tapes. So far, two judges in the Delhi High Court (HC) recused themselves from hearing the Public Interest Litigation by Uppal. The matter is likely to come up for hearing in the HC soon.

Procedure Followed by the PMO Grievance Cell

Albasit Khan, ex Essar employee and Suren Uppal, the Supreme Court lawyer and the petitioner in the Essar Tapes. (Photo: The Quint)
Albasit Khan, ex Essar employee and Suren Uppal, the Supreme Court lawyer and the petitioner in the Essar Tapes. (Photo: The Quint)

The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) website clearly specifies the process to be followed after complaint is filed. It says that any complainant who approaches the PMO’s grievance cell ought to be provided with a registration no instantly. The PGRAMS website says:

The PGRAMS (Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System) provides the users an instant acknowledgment by way of flashing the registration number.

Using this registration number, the complainant can log on to to view the status of the complaint. In the Essar tapes case, however, the PMO continues to maintain a guarded silence.

My office staff calls PMO grievance cell everyday requesting them to give the complaint/registration number but till we haven’t got one. We don’t know what is the status of the case. Considering that it is such a sensitive case, PMO should have ordered probe into the matter immediately

Suren Uppal, Supreme Court

The PMO’s silence raises several questions. Is the the BJP government quiet because the Essar tapes incriminate the NDA-1 regime? Why are other political parties quiet? Are the corporates involved too big to be touched? Will these tapes open yet another Pandora’s box, exposing corruption like in the 2G and coal scams? Will the court or the government order an inquiry into the matter?

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