HC dismisses plea against Patra’s appointment on ONGC board

sambit patra
sambit patra, File Photo

New Delhi, Nov 6 : The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to interfere with the appointment of BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra as an independent director on the board of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

The high court said Patra was appointed on the recommendation of the Search Committee which it remarked “would have considered his qualifications and eligibility”.

Dismissing the plea of an NGO, which has challenged Patra’s appointment, the court said: “It is not open to this court to re-examine this issue and sit in judgment over the view taken.”

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Energy Watchdog said proper procedure was not followed for appointing Patra to the post.

The plea contended that the appointment of an Independent Director to the Board of Directors of ONGC is akin to the distribution of state largesse.

Contesting the argument, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said the appointment to the post of Non-Official Director does not involve payment of any regular remuneration and therefore, the appointment cannot be treated as distribution of state largesse.

The court taking note of the ASG’s submission said: “Mere fact that an Independent Director would be entitled to remuneration for the sitting of the Board would be no reason to set aside the appointment”.

“In the present case, we have neither found any procedural violation nor contravention of any statutory provision on the part of the respondents. No writ is therefore, warranted,” the court said.

The plea has also challenged the appointment of Shashi Shanker as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC.


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