Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

They had violated tender conditions, causing loss to the Railways

V.K. Agnihotri, former member (engineering), Railway Board and N. Kirthivasan, former general manager of Southern Railway, were among five officials who were convicted by a CBI court here on Monday.

The CBI’s Anti Corruption Branch had registered a case against the officials for violating tender conditions and sanctioning loan to a civil contractor that led to a cumulative loss of Rs. 2.29 crore to the Railways in 1995-96.

The prosecution case is that the railway floated a tender to lay ballast as part of the Chengalpet-Villuppuram broad gauge conversion works. S. Palani, the contractor, was awarded the work though he sought a machinery loan which was not part of the tender conditions. Later, his application seeking machinery loan was sanctioned. The contractor submitted fake quotations and bills for machines that he never purchased. He also abandoned the work half way, forcing the railways to complete it by awarding fresh contracts at higher rates.

Based on specific information, the ACB registered a case against the then Southern Railway general manager Mr. Agnihotri; additional general manager S. Sethuraman; chief administrative officer Kirthivasan; chief track engineer P. Rajamoni; financial adviser and chief accounts officer R.S. Narayanan and chief signal and telecommunications engineer S. Ramasubramanian and Palani, the contractor. During the course of the trial, two of the accused persons — Narayanan and Palani — died.

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