Jamestin under CVC scanner over ONGC flat lease

Vol 16, PW 22 (30 May 13) People & Policy

KC Jamestin, director human resources at ONGC, is at the centre of a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry over his decision to lease a luxury flat from heavy industries secretary Sutanu Behuria, husband of PESB secretary (Mrs) Parvinder Behuria.

CVC sources confirm they are in receipt of a six-page complaint dated May 6 from KC Hari Kumar, a senior ONGC manager and president of the Baroda wing of ONGC staff union ASTO. “Kumar has written to us,” a CVC source tells us on May 21.

“We are writing to the oil ministry’s vigilance department for more information.” Kumar alleges Jamestin approved a proposal to rent the three-bedroom flat in the picturesque ski resort of Manali on October 4 last year at Rs34,000/month ($610) for ONGC’s ‘executive rejuvenation programme’.

Local property dealers say a similar would not rent for more than Rs15,000/month ($270). A government source adds ONGC’s decision to hire the flat from the husband of a serving PESB bureaucrat was inappropriate.

“The PESB is responsible for the selection of posts at director level and above for all state-owned companies," he says. "PESB interviews happen without any marking system so ONGC renting a flat from Behuria is a conflict of interest.

" Two other properties rented by ONGC are also under investigation: one at Cherai Beach Resorts at Kochi in Kerala - Jamestin’s home state - and another at Le Pondy Resorts in nearby Puducherry. Repeated calls and attempts to contact Jamestin and Behuria went unreturned.