On 26 February, the Indian Express published a report based on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) alleging that the Essar group had been granting favours to individuals in positions of power, in a bid to push its business interests. The PIL was based on the internal communications of the company that had been made public by a whistleblower. Among the cases highlighted by these documents was that of Nitin Gadkari—now union minister for road transport and highways—who spent two nights on an Essar luxury yacht, Sunrays, in July 2013, along with his wife and children. In response to the report, Gadkari has told reporters that the visit did not involve any conflict of interest because he was neither an MP nor the president of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) at that time .
Here we reproduce the correspondence between Ashish Rajgarhia, the executive assistant to the chairman of Essar Services India Limited (ESIL), and the captain of Sunrays regarding Gadkari’s visit to the yacht. This correspondence forms part of the PIL.