Oil regulator denies charge of favouritism

Oil regulator denies charge of favouritism

Sibal says his daughter used the RIL guest house during the Kalina floods

Sibal, who as Director General Hydrocarbons is responsible for clearance to oil and gas exploration and production in which RIL is the biggest private sector player, has been accused of taking favours from the company for stay of his daughter in Mumbai. One of his daughters is reported to have stayed at an RIL guest house in July 2005.

Sibal rubbished the allegations, saying these were motivated with the objective of affecting his chances of getting an extension after his five-year term comes to an end on October 31. Since, the oil ministry has moved for his extension and the file has now gone to the Central Vigilance Commission, which is looking into the matter.

Support & assistance

While no comments could be obtained from the CVC, RIL debunked the allegations that it had offered any favours to Sibal and his family. “Reliance had offered support and assistance to many families who had suffered due to unprecedented rain and deluge during the monsoon of 2005 in Mumbai.

“One of the unfortunate persons who was adversely affected as a result of this natural calamity in Mumbai was Sonia Sibal, the daughter of V K Sibal, the Director General of Hydrocarbons.  “In order to avoid disruption of her academic pursuit, she was provided temporary accommodation in one of the guest houses of RIL,” the company spokesperson said.

“There are people who do not want me (in DGH) because of my straight forwardness and no nonsense approach. I have never taken favours from anyone, nor have I ever extended favours,” Sibal said.

He said one of his daughters did use RIL guest house in Mumbai for a couple of weeks in July 2005 when her home in Kalina was flooded in the famous Mumbai deluge. Sibal, who  has been under attack from Anil Ambani group firm RNRL denied the allegations, saying the cost was validated by independent experts.