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Innocent Admission

Industrialists, PSU chiefs in Pegasus list

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New Delhi, July 27, 2021- Among the host of names from cross-section of categories whose phone numbers have appeared on the Pegasus Project list, there are also a few businessmen and bureaucrats who have made their way into the alleged surveillance list.

This includes disgraced industry captains like Naresh Goyal, formerly of Jet Airways, to former top PSU officials such as B.C. Tripathi, ex-chief at GAIL India, The Wire reported.

Apart from Goyal, the most prominent names on the list are numbers used by SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh and the Essar Group’s Prashant Ruia, the report said.

The list also contains multiple businessmen or officials of companies who have had run-ins with the law over the last few years, mostly due to investigations of loan fraud. This includes Vikram Kothari of Rotomac Pens (and his son Rahul), and C. Sivasankaran, former Aircel promoter and maverick entrepreneur.

In the last year, the Jet Airways founder has also been under the scanner of the enforcement directorate.

The entries for Kotharis and Sivasankaran also appear to match key points of the investigation that law enforcement authorities have conducted.

Also, a mid-level official at the Adani Group, one individual who used to work with the Essar Group and another formerly with SpiceJet.

The leaked list also contains at least five corporate executives associated with India’s mutual fund industry. These include professionals from companies such as Franklin Templeton, DSP BlackRock and Motilal Oswal.

Finally, key people in India’s public sector also appear to have been selected as potential candidates for surveillance.

The Wire reported that a phone number used by B.C. Tripathi — formerly head of state-run GAIL India who joined Essar in January 2020 as non-executive chairman — is on the list. Tripathi’s selection as a possible candidate for surveillance comes a month after he took up the top post at the natural gas corporation and his number appears in the leaked records on-and-off for almost a year afterwards.

Two numbers, one for a former boss of Life Insurance Corporation of India and the other for a former executive director of the Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser Corporation also appears on the list.  (Agency)

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