Vol 2, PW 25 (06 Jan 99) People & Policy

Petrowatch learns that the author of the mystery note is a high-ranking serving official at Oil India Limited, though the identity still remains elusive.

The tone and detail suggests at the very least someone who has a firm grasp of parliamentary procedure. Leaving aside the serious allegation of corruption, the note also justifies its opposition to Chandra on technical grounds.

"Last year the Cabinet decided to constitute the DGH as a statutory body with headquarters outside Delhi, nearer the scene of operations of the oil industry, which is concentrated in western offshore regions or the north east", says the note, "Also, a person of repute was to be appointed as the Director General keeping in view the importance of his role, after framing rules (for his selection) and going through the selection processes, so that the best talent could be attracted. At the same time, the Committee on Subordinate Legislation recommended that along the lines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority, the head of DGH should be a retired judge of the High Court.

One year later, without implementing the Cabinet decision or giving any reply to the Committee, the oil ministry now wants to pre-empt the process by appointing this official who would otherwise not be eligible and who wants to cling on in Delhi, where he would find it easier to please the powers-that-be on whose patronage he sorely depends". It doesnt take a rocket scientist to work out that whoever wrote the note did it because he thinks he should have the job of Director General in place of Chandra.