The CBI has arrested an executive director and a chief general manager of GAIL along with three others in an alleged bribery case of Rs 50 lakh in which favours were granted to a Vadodara-based company in two pipeline projects, officials said Tuesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) laid a trap after receiving information about the possible delivery of the bribe amount to the Executive Director (Projects) of GAIL K B Singh on Monday through a courier, they said.
During the searches, the agency recovered the alleged bribe amount from Singh, who was taken into custody after initial questioning, they said.
Besides Singh, they said, the CBI arrested Vadodara-based Advance Infrastructures Private Limited's director Surendra Kumar, Chief General Manager of GAIL Davinder Singh, and two other persons who acted as couriers -- Harsh Yadav and Suryavesh.
In addition to the arrested individuals, the CBI has also named Advance Infrastructures Private Limited and MECON Limited's senior general manager Sunil Kumar as accused in the FIR.
"A case was registered... on the allegations that the Executive Director (Projects), GAIL, in conspiracy with others, was extending undue favour in connection with SAPL (Srikakulam Angul Pipeline) and VAPL (Vijaipur Auraiya Pipeline) Projects of GAIL," the spokesperson said.
According to the FIR, K B Singh, who was supervising the two pipeline projects, was allegedly extending undue favours to Surendra Kumar like expeditious processing of bills and overlooking companies not following guidelines in connivance with other GAIL officials.
Advance Infrastructures Private Limited, which was working as a sub-contractor to JSC OGCC KzStroyService, a frontal company of Kazakhstan-based KSS Group, has been executing pipe-laying work for GAIL's Srikakulam Angul Pipeline project, the FIR said.
Surendra Kumar met K B Singh at the latter's residence in Sector 72, Noida on June 29 and requested him to clear the final bill expeditiously, it alleged.
"...despite the insistence from the finance division of GAIL that bills should be processed through Vendor Invoice Management System portal through online mode, (K B) Singh, at the request of (Surendra) Kumar, influenced his subordinates to process the bills offline on his orders," an official said citing the FIR.
The executive director allegedly used his influence to release the payment on July 20 in spite of huge recoveries to be made from Advance Infrastructures Private Limited on account of incomplete work, litigation and other issues, the FIR said.
After a sweating issue was observed in the Srikakulam Angul Pipeline project, Surendra Kumar contacted Sunil Kumar of MECON to sort it out and assured him that the bribe would be delivered to his residence, the CBI alleged.
Meanwhile, K B Singh ordered Chief General Manager Davinder Singh to de-water and retest the pipeline but Surendra Kumar asked that the issue be settled by other means as emptying all the water was not feasible for his company, the agency said.
Surendra Kumar also promised K B Singh the payment of illegal gratification at the earliest for the favour and expeditious processing of the final bills, it added.
K B Singh then asked Davinder Singh to sort out the issue in accordance with Surendra Kumar's suggestions and it was apparently done, the CBI said.
It alleged that Surendra Kumar had arranged for Rs 50 lakh to be delivered to K B Singh through Harsh Yadav and Suryavesh, both working for a subcontractor of Advance Infrastructure, on September 4.
On getting information about the illicit transaction, the CBI laid a trap and nabbed K B Singh.
"The bribe of Rs 50 lakh was recovered from ED (Projects). Searches were conducted at the premises of accused... at Delhi, Noida, Visakhapatnam and Vadodara which led to the recovery of incriminating documents and digital evidence, etc.," the spokesperson said