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CBI ready to probe oil regulator

After completing a “discreet field verification” into corruption charges against VK Sibal, the CBI has sought the Central Vigilance Commission’s permission to launch a direct investigation against the outgoing director general of hydrocarbons, reports Manish Tiwari.

business Updated: Oct 29, 2009 01:37 IST
Manish Tiwari

After completing a “discreet field verification” into corruption charges against VK Sibal, the CBI has sought the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) permission to launch a direct investigation against the outgoing director general of hydrocarbons.

Government sources said the CBI had found sufficient evidence to register a case and launch a regular probe into the corruption charges and the alleged nexus between Sibal, the oil and gas regulator, and Reliance Industries Limited.

“The CBI has asked for permission to conduct a direct inquiry,” said a top CVC official. “We’re considering the request and a decision will be taken soon.”

On October 1, the CVC had asked the CBI to conduct an inquiry into allegations of favouritism levelled against Sibal after the government sought the commission’s view on giving him an extension. CVC secretary K.S. Ramasubban had asked CBI director Ashwini Kumar to verify the allegations against Sibal.

On the issue of Sibal’s extension, the CVC has told the government that there is a “trust deficit” and reason to doubt his integrity and objectivity.