Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

Indian Oil suspends director-designate over info leak

New Delhi: Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s biggest refiner, has suspended its director-designate for allegedly leaking confidential information to an official of a private company.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan made a strong pitch for ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan made a strong pitch for ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption.

Debangshu Ray, who is General Manager (International Trade), was suspended on Friday, company officials said.

The suspension came days before Ray was to be appointed Director (Research and Development) of the nation’s largest firm.

“We came to know of irregularities on some instances and we have suspended Mr Ray,” IOC Director (Human Resources) Verghese Cherian told PTI here.

He, however, refused to state the reason for the suspension. “We are yet to serve a chargesheet on him, so I cannot be commenting on the reasons as yet.”

The Oil Ministry has sent Ray’s name for Director (R&D) for IOC after candidature of government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board’s (PESB) first choice, B P Das, was rejected.

Officials said Ray’s name had been cleared by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as well as the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and an appointment letter appointing him to the IOC board was to be issued any day.

His suspension comes amid a crackdown on leakage of official documents from several ministries including oil, power and coal.

Police have so far arrested more than a dozen people including ministry officials and private company executives like Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, Cairn India, Jubilant Energy and Reliance Group.

Ray had allegedly leaked sensitive information on phone to an executive of private company.

Action against him comes close on the heels of the government suspending ONGC’s Director (T&FS) Shashi Shankar over alleged irregularities in an unawarded Rs 23 crore tender.

Shankar, who as the head of technology and field services (T&FS) annually handles at least Rs 15,000 crore of contracts for rigs and oilfield services, was suspended on February 23 for alleged “gross misconduct while dealing with a tender for procurement of 21 Blowout Preventers (BOP),” the oil ministry had said last week.

It further said the government has taken “strong note of the lapses” and ordered suspension of Shankar with immediate effect to “ensure fair and transparent inquiry”.

Inputs with PTI

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