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State-owned GAIL Ltd has confirmed that the government has suspended its director E S Ranganathan after his arrest by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), according to an exchange filing.

This is to inform that President of lndia (vide letter no. C-31022/1/2022-VIG-PNG dated18th January, 2022) in exercise of the powers conferred by Rule 25 of GAIL Employees (Conduct Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1986 placed Shri E. S. Ranganathan under suspension with effect from 18.01.2022, GAIL said.

Ranganathan was suspended for allegedly taking bribes to give discounts to private companies buying petrochemical products from the state-owned gas utility.

The CBI had on Friday evening started searches in connection with discounts that Ranganathan had allegedly promised to private companies in exchange for a bribe of 50 lakh. On Saturday, it searched Ranganathan's residence in Noida and his office at GAIL's headquarters at Bhikaji Cama Place.

The office was sealed and Ranganathan was questioned. While CBI had arrested some persons of the private companies on Saturday itself, Ranganathan was arrested on January 16 after obtaining requisite sanctions.

GAIL in a regulatory filing on Tuesday said it has complied with the ministry order and entrusted an additional charge of the post of Director (Marketing), GAIL to Iyer. On Monday, the company had informed the stock exchanges that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against Ranganathan and other private persons on charges of criminal conspiracy, demand and obtaining undue advantage by public servant, taking undue advantage to influence public servant, bribing public servant etc.

"Further, CBI searched at the premise(s) of Shri E S Ranganathan, Director (Marketing) of the Company and other private persons in connection with the said case," it had said adding Ranganathan has also been arrested in connection with the said case.

"Company is not aware of any information other than those published or reported in the media," it had said. "At this stage no estimated financial impact or estimated amount can be ascertained."

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