ONGC manager caught in Rs4 lakh bribe sting

Vol 20, PW 26 (21 Sep 17) People & Policy

Admitting you falsified papers to win a tender takes courage at the best of times.

But that's exactly what Hyderabad-based Tycon Project Engineers did so it could file a corruption complaint against ONGC deputy general manager P. Venkata Ramana.

On August 30 evening a CBI team arrested Ramana on charges of demanding Rs10 lakhs ($15,800) in bribes from David Raju, a business partner at Tycon Project Engineers. On the same day in the early afternoon Raju had lodged a seven-page complaint with Jeevan Bhagat, deputy superintendent of police at Kakinada.

In his complaint Raju disclosed that Tycon had responded to two tenders floated by ONGC's eastern offshore asset at Kakinada: the first on May 11 (2017) to replace and maintain drain pipelines for Rs46,88,360 ($74,000); the second on June 7, 2017 to construct sheds and watchtowers for Rs49,31,810 ($79,000), both at ONGC's onshore gas receiving terminal at Odalarevu. To qualify, Raju admits Tycon altered the LoI, purchase order and TDS certificate issued by Toshiba Transmission and Distribution Systems (India) for which his company had carried out work worth Rs12,59,581 ($20,000) and submitted the doctored documents on the ONGC e-tender portal.

During evaluation Ramana learned of the forgery and called Raju to his office, threatening to blacklist Tycon. "He (Ramana) told me to wind up my company," Raju says in his complaint.

"I pleaded with him to disqualify us from both tenders and close the subject."