CBI charges ex-regulator for favours to private firm - source

NEW DELHI Fri Jul 1, 2011 7:31pm IST

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Central Bureau of Investigation has charged former oil and gas exploration regulator V.K. Sibal with criminal conspiracy and granting undue favours to a private seismic exploration firm, a CBI source said on Friday.

Sibal could not immediately be reached for comment.

The CBI had earlier in the day searched the house of Sibal, a former director general of hydrocarbons, which regulates oil exploration and production, the police source had said.

"A FIR (charge) has been filed against him," the source said on condition of anonymity.

"He has been charged with 120B criminal conspiracy and undue favours to a private firm," the source said, referring to the relevant section of the Indian Penal Code.

The case involved certain seismic explorations carried out by the firm in India, the source said.

The source declined to say if Sibal would be arrested. In India, charges can be filed by police without an immediate arrest.

(Reporting by C.J. Kuncheria; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)

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