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OIL rejects Sibal`s application for early retirement

Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 19:22

New Delhi: State-run Oil India Ltd has
rejected the resignation offered by V K Sibal after he was
reverted to the company following denial of extension as oil
regulator amid reports of alleged favours to corporate houses.

Although he denied any wrongdoing, Sibal was forced to
revert to Oil India on October 31 as Group General Manager - a
rank which he held prior to becoming the Director General of
Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). He had immediately
applied for early retirement, sources said.
OIL rejected his application as vigilance probe against
him was pending, sources said, adding that the company had
even taken a legal opinion on the issue from Additional
Solicitor General who opined that any person against whom
vigilance probe is pending cannot be relieved from service.

Pending consideration of his application, Sibal went on
leave for three months but would now have to join back as his
application for early retirement has been rejected.

Sibal, in all, had about 200 days of accumulated leave,
of which he had availed for 90 days from November one. He
superannuates in January 2012 and technically speaking, he
would have to join back OIL in a rank and pay much lower than
what he had held in DGH, they said.

Sibal was denied an extension as head of India`s upstream
nodal agency till his superannuation age of 60 years in
January 2012 after the Central Vigilance Commission found a
"deficit of trust" in him. The CBI has accused Sibal of
colluding with private parties during his term as oil
regulator and has sought government permission for a thorough
Sources said Sibal`s resignation cannot be accepted till
the vigilance probe is completed. Also, OIL is not inclined to
give him leave without pay after he exhausts his accumulated

In case, Sibal chooses not to attend office after he
exhausts his accumulated leave, OIL can initiate disciplinary
proceedings including termination of service.

If his services are terminated, Sibal would not get any
gratuity benefit. Besides, the medical cover that he and his
family enjoy would be curtailed, they said.

CBI, which was asked by the Central Vigilance Commission
(CVC) to do a "discreet" ground verification of allegations of
Sibal`s nexus with private oil and gas operators, in its
preliminary report, alleged "gross abuse and misuse of public
office by Sibal," sources said.

The preliminary report also talked of his "nexus with
private parties" and his "obtaining pecuniary advantage in
award of contracts and supply of information of sensitive data
of resources."

However, neither the CVC nor the CBI have said anything
on the allegations of his seeking favours from RIL in lieu of
approving higher capital expenditure at Mukesh Ambani-run
firm`s Krishna Godavari basin gas field.

CVC last month sought CBI help when its clearance was
sought for giving an extension of service to Sibal as Director
General of DGH.


First Published: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 19:22
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