The Radia Tremor 3: The saga of alleged link between V K Sibal and RIL
Former director general of hydrocarbons (DGH) V K Sibal has come under the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) scanner for allegedly extending favours to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). Now, the matter is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a second time, thanks to the Niira Radia tapes.
On Wednesday, the CBI had registered a preliminary inquiry into the issue, following an SC order. This isn’t the first time Sibal, the DGH between 2004 and 2009, is facing a CBI inquiry. In 2009, the agency had registered a preliminary inquiry against him, following a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) draft report on the approval to RIL for increase in capital expenditure on its D6 gas block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, which was said to have deprived the government of its legitimate share. CBI failed to find any criminality and, therefore, didn’t charge Sibal; the inquiry was closed.
But after going through the Radia tapes, the CBI categorised the suspected calls into 17 issues and said the conversations showed Sibal was indeed involved in some criminality or irregularity, adding the matter should be probed further.