Pradhan says ministries should go by the book, monitor classified information

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 21, 2015 23:53 IST

A strict monitoring of classified documents including all cabinet notes and sensitive notings will be carried out with immediate effect in the petroleum ministry, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Saturday.

Pradhan said adherence to the government rule book and security procedures or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) laid out for the functioning of the Central ministries and departments will be followed as part of the fresh security measures being put into place by the petroleum ministry after the incident of stealing of classified documents.

Pradhan said nobody will be allowed to breach the official system and all those responsible will be brought to book.

"Nobody is above law. Nobody will be spared. Law will take its own course," he said on a day when the Delhi Police produced in court five executives of companies like Reliance Industries, Essar, Cairn and Reliance Group who allegedly bought stolen official documents of the oil ministry.

Petroleum secretary Saurabh Chandra reiterated, “We have some laid procedures on moving files on cabinet notes and other sensitive information...the concerned officers will now on personally move such files for discussions with senior offices than doing it through the staff.”

As many as seven rooms, including two of joint secretaries handling critical departments like exploration and refining, were compromised by using duplicate keys. Three junior ministry staff, caught by Delhi Police for allegedly using duplicate keys to steal documents, have been suspended, he said.

On claims of a R10,000-crore scam made by former journalist Shantanu Saikia, who allegedly took documents from the ministry staff for selling to corporates, Pradhan said, "He is free to say whatever... it is all under investigation."

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