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Hiranandani having Mahua Moitra's login creds created 'serious risk' of information leak: Parl Panel

New Delhi, DHNS: Businessman Darshan Hiranandani having Mahua Moitra’s Parliament log-in credentials created a “serious risk” of leakage of sensitive information, as he has foreign nationals as “close relatives”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee probing ‘cash for query’ allegations against the Trinamool Congress MP.

The MHA had rendered its opinion as the panel headed by BJP MP Vinod Sonkar sought its views on the implications of Mahua giving her log-in credentials to Darshan and finds a place in the report

The MHA said transfer of Parliament login credentials to “unauthorised” people could lead to “leakage” of sensitive material to foreign agencies and render the system vulnerable to serious cyber attacks and potentially disable the system entirely “crippling” the functioning of Parliament.

It warned that it was possible that such elements could plant material into the system that could impact national security by creating false documents or fake narratives.

The MHA then went on to present the possibility of Darshan’s foreign relatives creating a risk for national security, sources said. Quoting from the report, sources said, Darshan is an Indian national who is learnt to have residency rights in the UAE and has “close relatives who are foreign nationals”.

“This creates a serious risk of leakage of sensitive material to foreign agencies,” according to the report adopted by the Ethics Committee on Thursday. The well-known Hiranandani Group is mainly into the real estate business.

The MHA also told the panel that Mahua’s member portal was operated 47 times from Dubai between July 2019 and April 2023 and the IP address remained the same. The report also concluded that she visited Dubai four times during the period.

It said several documents are circulated to the MPs, which are in the public domain, and cited the advance circulation of the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Bill, 2019 while emphasising that the possible leakage of “such sensitive material” could be exploited by “inimical elements” detrimental to national security.

The report also sought to question Mahua’s version of what happened on November 2 when she and other Opposition MPs accused Sonkar of asking personal and private questions.

The report said the chairperson asked her about the hotel in which she stayed during her Dubai visits. It said Sonkar gave her the option of responding to his query by saying “no comments”.

However, it said, Mahua refused to respond and “openly abused” the chairperson. She also “instigated” the Opposition members by requesting the MPs to boycott these proceedings”, which resulted in their walkout.

(Published 10 November 2023, 03:00 IST)

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