GAIL director M. Ravindran under investigation

Vol 19, PW 23 (28 Jul 16) People & Policy

With less than six months to retirement GAIL director human resources M.

Ravindran faces possible demotion to executive director rank if he is charged under an ongoing investigation. PETROWATCH learns the oil ministry issued an order on July 15 allowing GAIL chief vigilance officer Rajesh Ranjan to send Ravindran a 'show cause' notice.

Exact details are sketchy but ministry sources tell us the investigation centres on several cases of alleged financial impropriety when Ravindran was managing director of Delhi-based gas retailer Indraprastha Gas from 2011 to June 1, 2013. "Ranjan has received several written complaints against Ravindran," we hear.

After investigating each complaint thoroughly it appears Ranjan warned the Central Vigilance Commission which in turn has alerted the oil ministry. "Launching an inquiry against a sitting director of a state-owned company," adds another source, "isn't easy!" All eyes are now on Ranjan, a widely respected and thorough officer with experience at Interpol, to see if he backs down under political pressure and quietly drops the case.

GAIL sources tell us Ravindran has the tacit support of chairman BC Tripathi who is also believed to have enlisted oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan's help to make the allegations disappear. "Pradhan's secretary called Ranjan on behalf of Ravindran and Tripathi asking him to drop the case," we hear.

"I doubt it will work; Ranjan has told the minister's office that if they want him to drop the case they have to tell him in writing."

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