CBI arrests GAIL director in bribery case

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The CBI on Sunday arrested E.S. Ranganathan, Director (Marketing) of GAIL in a case of allegedly taking bribe.

On Saturday, the CBI had arrested five persons in this connection.

“The GAIL official, E.S. Ranganathan, the Director (Marketing), has been arrested by us for allegedly taking bribes from businessmen for issuing discount orders on purchasing of petro products. Five persons were arrested yesterday,” said a senior CBI official.

The CBI had on Saturday conducted raids at the residence of the Director Marketing of GAIL and several NCR-based locations in connection with an alleged bribe case.

Cash of Rs 1.29 crore, gold jewellery worth Rs 1.3 crore and other valuables were recovered during the searches at the premises of the accused.

A CBI official said that a case was lodged in this respect on Friday (January 14). The CBI had got the information that Ranganathan, the Director (Marketing), Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), was indulging in corrupt and illegal activities in criminal conspiracy with one Pawan Gaur and Rajesh Kumar.

These two persons were allegedly acting as his middleman, by obtaining bribes 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 petrochemical 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 could be the prospective beneficiaries of the discount

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

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

Rajesh also entered into negotiations with two more prospective beneficiary dealers, namely Saurabh Gupta and Aditya Bansal, and convinced them to pay the 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 hawala channel.

On January 14, Aditya Bansal also gave a bribe 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 the arrested persons.

Further probe in the matter is on.

–IANS

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