HCL denies any role in News of the World scandal

Indian information technology company HCL Technologies has denied allegations that emails belonging to News International, one of its clients, were destroyed at its Chennai office.

News International, an arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, owns News of the World, which has been shut down after a series of phone-tapping scandals. HCL manages its IT infrastructure based on an IT outsourcing agreement signed in 2009.

During a recent perjury trial involving former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan, it was stated that News International's email data had been destroyed in HCL's Chennai office. However, it was later discovered that the emails were stored in a warehouse in London.

On Wednesday, during a three-hour debate in the House of Commons on the phone hacking issue, Labour MP Tom Watson said there had been an attempt to destroy News International data at the HCL storage facility in Chennai.

Lawyers for Tommy Sheridan now want his conviction for perjury to be reviewed in view of the revelation that News International emails had not been destroyed in Chennai and were in fact lodged in a warehouse in London.

However, HCL Technologies today told PTI, "In light of some regrettable comments made over the last few days, we categorically confirm that HCL Technologies does not and has not stored any data either in the UK or anywhere else in the world."

Accordingly, it is wholly impossible for there to have been any destruction of data held by HCL, and any suggestion to the contrary is misleading."

''Due to ongoing investigations and client confidentiality, HCL Technologies cannot under any circumstances, go into further details on this matter at this stage," the company added.