A special CBI court has recently acquitted a retired senior ONGC official in connection with a 24-year-old corruption case. Two other accused in the case have been convicted and awarded rigorous imprisonment for five years.
They were accused of siphoning off Rs 18 lakh by producing fake bills of contract of laying pipelines in 1988. They along with two others were booked for criminal conspiracy,forgery and corruption under the provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had investigated the case and submitted a chargesheet against five persons. The five include the then Deputy Director General of ONGC H C Lal,Abdulgani Malek,also an employee of ONGC,Piyush Gajjar,Mohammed Hanif Ahmed and Yogendrapal Kohli.
Kohli had died pending trial. While Lal and Malek were acquitted by the court,Gajjar and Mohammed Hanif were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. They were also slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000 each.
According to Lals counsel,senior ONGC officials had discovered a racket under which money was being paid to contractor like Gajjar and his accomplice Mohammed Hanif for works which were actually not being done at all.
The then ONGC General Manager,B S Sachdeva,had lodged a complaint in this regard.
The lawyer said that while acquitting Lal and Malek,the court criticised CBIs investigation for not probing into the real culprits from ONGC who could have played a role in connivance with the convicted contractor and his accomplice.