The special court for CBI cases on Thursday sentenced Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) former General Manager (ship repair), Gujjala Venkata Ratnam, to two years of rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs. 20,000 for causing a wrongful pecuniary loss of Rs. 1.39 crore to the company. However, the CBI officials said that the two other accused in the case were acquitted.
Hearing the case, the third Additional Special Judge for CBI cases, G. Satya Prabhakara Rao, convicted Venkata Ratnam and awarded the punishment.
According to CBI officials, the HSL, Visakhapatnam, invited tenders for purchase of 1,000 MT of Ship Building Quality (SBQ) steel plates in November 2005, to maintain the buffer stock for Dry Dock Ship Repairs (DDSR) requirement.
"The then HSL Chairman and Managing Director Ajit Tewari, Gujjala Venkata Ratnam, the then Director (technical) Yedurupadu Janarthan, were facing the charges of not placing the supply order to a company to favour another, despite the former quoting the lowest bid," a communique issued by the CBI said here on Thursday (20-12-2018).
The HSL, the CBI officials said, kept on seeking extension on the validity period of the tender and asking the company for supply of a part of the order without furnishing any valid reasons. After giving extension for six times, the company finally refused to extend the validity of their offer and refused to supply as they realised that HSL was not going to place the order.
In March 2006, the HSL floated tender for the second time for supply of 500 MT of steel plates. The company concerned did not participate in the tendering proceedings owing to its bad experience.
Meanwhile, another company, which was favoured by the convict, bagged the order for supply of 460 MT of steel plates at a higher cost and the supply was received in September, 2006.
Immediately after this second tender, yet again third tender was also issued for 660 MT of steel plates which were purchased from a Korea-based company at a higher price, the CBI officials said.
"All the three accused in the case caused a wrongful pecuniary loss to HSL to tune of Rs. 1.39 crore and were a party to the wrongful gains," the statement said.
The court convicted Venkata Ratnam under the Section 420 of the IPC and Section 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988. The court ordered that sentences awarded to the accused shall run concurrently.