- The CBI had arrested five people in this connection on Saturday.
New Delhi: A senior CBI official said, “GAIL official, ES Ranganathan, Director (Marketing) has been arrested for accepting bribe from traders for issuing exemption orders on purchase of petro products. Yesterday five People were arrested.”The CBI on Saturday raided the residence of the Marketing Director of GAIL and several locations in NCR in connection with the alleged bribery case.
During searches, Rs 1.29 crore in cash, Rs 1.3 crore in gold jewelery and other valuables were recovered from the premises of the accused.A CBI official said that a case was registered in this regard on Friday (January 14). The CBI had received information that Ranganathan, Director (Marketing), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), was involved in corrupt and illegal activities in criminal conspiracy with Pawan Gaur and Rajesh Kumar. Both these persons were allegedly acting as middlemen by receiving bribes from private companies buying petrochemical products marketed by GAIL. A CBI source said, “We were told that on Rajesh’s instructions, Pawan had sought Ranganathan’s permission to give some discount to buyers on petrochemical products being sold by GAIL. They had met several times in Noida.”Rajesh approached other dealers, who could be potential beneficiaries of the discount, to collect the bribe amount. In December, Rajesh collected the bribe amount sought from the beneficiary parties and handed it over to Pawan for Ranganathan.
Ranganathan, a Gurugram-based businessman, N. Ramakrishnan Nair collected Rs 40 lakh from Pawan. Rajesh also negotiates with two more potential beneficiary dealers, Saurabh Gupta and Aditya Bansal, and persuades them to pay bribes in return for favorable orders from GAIL. The CBI official said Rajesh requested Saurabh Gupta to fulfill his commitment to issue exemption orders by GAIL and also pointed out that Ranganathan had demanded Rs 15 lakh but agreed to take Rs 12 lakh. Pawan also asks Saurabh to pay the amount at the earliest. Saurabh had already given Rs 3 lakh to Rajesh and decided to give the rest through hawala channel.
On January 14, Aditya Bansal had also bribed Rajesh for Ranganathan. According to the CBI official, “On the request of Pawan and Rajesh, Ranganathan conducted some investigations in the premises of some authorized stockists of GAIL in the month of November. Huge fraud and we registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act. The officer said that during the raids they have recorded the statements of those arrested. Further investigation is on in the matter.