5 held in bribery case involving GAIL official; Rs 84 lakh recovered

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted raids at the residence of Director (Marketing) of GAIL, and several NCR-based locations in connection with a bribery case, and arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in the case.

ES Ranganathan, the Director (Marketing) at GAIL, allegedly took bribe from private persons for issuing discount order on the purchase of petro chemical products.

An official said that the CBI team has collected some incriminating documents following the raid. It also recovered a cash of Rs 84 lakh.

A CBI official said that a case was lodged in this regard on January 14.

The CBI had got the information that Ranganathan is indulging in corrupt and illegal activities in criminal conspiracy with two individuals — Pawan Gaur and Rajesh Kumar.

These two persons were allegedly acting as his middleman, by obtaining bribe from the private companies buying petro chemical products marketed by the GAIL.

“We were informed that at the direction of Rajesh, Pawan had asked Ranganathan for allowing some discount to the buyers on petro chemical products being marketed by GAIL in lieu of illegal gratification. They met at Noida several times,” said a CBI source.

In order to collect bribe amount, Rajesh had further contacted other dealers, who would be the prospective beneficiaries of discount.

In December, Rajesh collected the demanded bribe amount and delivered it to Pawan for Ranganathan.

On the direction of Ranganathan, a Gurugram-based businessman N. Ramakrishnan Nair collected Rs 40 lakh from Pawan.

“Rajesh also entered a negotiation with two more prospective beneficiary dealers — namely Saurabh Gupta and Aditya Bansal, and convinced them for paying bribe in exchange for the favourable orders from GAIL,” said the source.

The CBI official said that Rajesh requested Saurabh Gupta for fulfilling his commitment for issuance of the discount order by GAIL and also informed that Ranganathan had demanded Rs 15 lakh but agreed to take Rs 12 lakh.

Pawan also asked Saurabh to pay the amount at the earliest.

Saurabh had already given Rs 3 lakh to Rajesh and decided to pay the rest of the amount through the Hawala channel.

On January 14, Aditya Bansal also gave a bribe amount to Rajesh for Ranganathan.

“Ranganathan on the request of Pawan and Rajesh got some checks conducted in the month of November, in the premises of some authorised stockists of GAIL. However, before the said surprise check, Ranganathan had also cautioned some of his favoured parties. Thus they committed huge fraud and we lodged a case of prevention of corruption act,” said the CBI official.

The official said that during the raid they have recorded the statement of arrested persons.

Further probe into the matter is underway.



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