HCL Tech gets entangled in News International scandal

Indian software outsourcing company HCL Technologies has found itself caught in the storm of scandal surrounding News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Senior MPs on the UK parliamentary committee probing the phone-hacking scandal that forced the closure of the popular publication News of the World, want to further question HCL after the firm, which oversaw News International's day-to-day e-mails, revealed that hundreds of thousands of mails had been deleted from the publisher's server since May last year.

Such deletion requests were not "unusual or untoward", HCL Technologies said in a written response to questions from the MPs panel, adding that it never stored any of News International's e-mails.

News International's internal e-mails have become a focus in the phone-hacking scandal amid suspicions about messages that were sent by staff at News of the World. Most of these staffers were axed last month amid new hacking claims.

The closure of the paper was only the start of a crisis in Murdoch's media empire, which has prompted the resignation of several of his close aides and a string of arrests.

In Monday's letter, HCL's law firm, Stuart Benson, said News International had asked for information on nine occasions between April 2010 and July this year.