The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is pursuing a two-year-old Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the role of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry as well as its Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) in dealing with the energy companies, including the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

With the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) indicting, in its draft report, both the Ministry and the DGH for allowing “irregularities and bending rules” to “oblige” RIL in the Krishna Godavari basin gas fields that led to a massive loss to the national exchequer, the slow pace of the CBI's enquiry, registered in 2009, is likely to pick up momentum.

Well-placed sources in the CBI said the agency was still gathering evidence and relevant material to come to a conclusion if the matter required registration of a full-fledged First Information Report (FIR). The sources said that though the PE was registered against “unknown persons,” the CBI officials had called V.K. Sibal, who was then heading the DGH, for an initial round of enquiries and clarifications. The PE is also looking at how the DGH had given clearance in 2004 for developing RIL's KG-D 6 block at a huge hike in capital expenditure.

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