Chennai: The XIII additional special judge for CBI cases, Chennai, has sentenced five former top railway officials, including the then Member-Engineering, Railway Board and general manager, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years on a charge of violating tender rules and causing loss of Rs 2.29 crore to the national transporter.
Judge S.Jawahar also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on them. According to CBI, the then member-engineering, Railway Board, V.K.Agnihotri, general manager, N.Kirthivasan, chief track engineer, P.Rajamoni, financial advisor and chief accounts officer, R.S. Narayanan, additional general manager S.Sethuraman, chief signals, telecommunication engineer, S.Ramasubramanian and a civil engineering contractor S.Palani committed the irregularities in 1995.
The railway officials recommended and sanctioned machinery advance of Rs. 26.64 lakh to Palani, for supply of hand broken ballast, which was not required for railways, violating tender rules. They also recommended and sanctioned machinery advances of Rs.10.57 lakh, Rs.9.16 lakh and Rs.12.28 lakh for three other contracts to Palani. They placed orders for supply of ballast in 11 reaches requiring very huge quantities.
All the contracts were terminated and subsequently fresh contracts were awarded to various other contractors. As a result, the railways incurred a loss of Rs 2.29 crore, being additional expenditure incurred towards execution of terminated contracts, apart from advances given to Palani. During trial, Narayanan and Palani died and charges against them were abated. The judge sentenced Agnihotri, Kirthivasan, Rajamoni, Sethuraman and Rama subramanian to undergo RI for two years.