Satyanarayana's fate in hands of reluctant judiciary

Vol 17, PW 13 (13 Feb 14) People & Policy

Almost two years after K.

Satyanarayana was selected as ONGC director onshore, the Delhi High Court meets on February 14 to decide if he still has a chance of getting the job. ONGC group general manager Satyanarayana turned to lawyers after he was refused anti-corruption clearance by the CVC in September 2013 over his alleged involvement in a recruitment scam.

The Delhi court has heard the case three times, last on February 3, but has yet to issue any stay order preventing a fresh selection process. “We think the February 14 hearing will be final,” says an ONGC source.

Not wishing to wait forever, the oil ministry opened the envelope containing the name of runner up candidate Ashok Varma last December. Varma still awaits CVC clearance.

“ONGC’s vigilance department sent its report to the CVC in mid-January," adds another ONGC source. "Varma received a clean chit but it’s possible the CVC is waiting for the court’s decision before passing the clearance on to the ministry.

” Varma is head of ONGC's eastern offshore asset since June 2012 and credited with overseeing the company's first deepwater gas production from the G1 field last year. He was CEO of OVL’s Russian subsidiary Imperial Energy from June 2009 and also played an important role in getting the Sakhalin-D project off the ground.

A petroleum engineer from the Indian School of Mines at Dhanbad in Jharkhand, Varma joined ONGC in 1978.

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