CBI files fresh case against ex-GAIL director Ranganathan for amassing disproportionate assets

New Delhi: The CBI has filed a fresh case against former GAIL director E S Ranganathan for allegedly amassing assets worth more than Rs 4.82 crore, disproportionate to his known sources of income, during 2017-22, officials said on Monday.

Ranganathan, the then director (marketing) at the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), was arrested in January last year in a case of alleged bribery of over Rs 50 lakh for giving discounts to private companies buying petrochemical products marketed by the Maharatna PSU, they said.

The CBI had conducted searches at the Noida residence of Ranganathan, from where it found details of over Rs 1.29 crore cash and documents containing details of assets that the agency was scrutinising.

“During the check period of January 1, 2017 to January 17, 2022, E S Ranganathan was in possession of five immovable properties in his name and in the name of his wife. E S Ranganathan was also in possession of… cash… (worth) Rs 1.29 crore, gold/jewellery items, foreign currencies and huge balance in several bank accounts opened in his name as well as in the name of his wife V N Meenakshi, which he cannot satisfactorily account for,” CBI FIR alleged.

Ranganathan joined GAIL in 1985 and also served as the managing director of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) from 2016-20 before returning to GAIL as executive director. He was later promoted to director (marketing), arrested and subsequently suspended from service.

After the scrutiny of his assets, the CBI registered an FIR alleging that Ranganathan “during his posting in IGL and GAIL (India) Ltd. has intentionally enriched himself illicitly and acquired assets (both movable and immovable) by corrupt and illegal means in his name and the name of his wife V N Meenakshi, a housewife”.

The agency analysed the income and expenditure statement of the former director from January 1, 2017, to his date of arrest on January 17, 2022, which showed that he had amassed assets to the tune of Rs 4.82 crore, 88 per cent more than his legitimate income, which he could not explain satisfactorily, the FIR alleged.

The CBI has invoked provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Ranganathan and his wife, the officials said.