During yesterday’s emergency House of Commons debate on alleged phone hacking by the News of the World newspaper, Labour backbencher Tom Watson made the following statement under parliamentary privilege.
"I believe that the police should ask [News International chariman] Mr James Murdoch and [former News of the World editor] Rebekah Brooks whether they know of the attempted destruction of data at the HCL storage facility in Chennai, India," he said. News International outsourced its IT operations to Indian company HCL Technologies in 2009.
However, HCL has categorically refuted Watson’s allegation, saying it does not store any of its customers’ data locally.
"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," it said in a statement. "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.”
“Over the past two months, we have been fully co-operating with the Metropolitan Police at the request of News International. Due to the ongoing investigations and client confidentiality, HCL Technologies cannot under any circumstances, go into further details on this matter at this stage.”