Urea import scam: SC gives clean chit to Karsan official

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 4 2013, 07:27am hrs
The Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Turkish firm Karsans executive Tuncay Alankus in a contempt of court case in the R133-crore urea scam that rocked the nation in the mid-nineties.

A bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam said that on the materials produced before it, it was difficult to hold Alankus guilty of contempt and to punish him for the offence.

The apex court also recalled its earlier order of April 1, 2010 which held Alankus guilty for contempt of court after National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL) had told the Bench, then headed by Justice Markandey Katju, that despite the courts orders in September and December 2006 Alankus had withdrawn more than $11 million from his account in Pictet & Cie bank in Geneva.

Later, Alankus had sought recall of the contempt order on the ground that the April 1, 2101 order was based on a incorrect premise and he had not withdrawn money from his bank after the apex courts orders as there was no money in his bank account.

Alankus senior counsel Shanti Bhushan had also produced a certificate issued by the Pictet and Cie bank on September 13, 2010, showing that the account was closed on July 25, 2006.

The urea scam, involving former prime minister PV Narasimha Raos relative B Sanjeeva Rao, former Union minister Ramlakhan Singh Yadavs son Prakash Chandra and seven others, dates back to November 1995 when NFL had paid $37.62 million in advance to the Turkish firm for purchasing 2 lakh metric tonne of urea. But various accused involved in the scam had shared the amount among themselves without honouring the contract, prompting the CBI to file an FIR against the accused.

NFL had earlier argued that Alankus, being in India since 1997, was bound to obey the court orders, which was contrary to his view that the apex court cant execute orders outside the Indian territory.

In his reply, Alankus had stated that he could not comply with the Supreme Court orders which was beyond his control, capacity and power as he had no access to the operation of his bank account.

In 1997, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Karsan executives Tuncay Alankus and Cihan Karanci, who were extradited to India from Switzerland in 1997, former NFL managing director CK Ramakrishnan, its former executive director Dilbagh Singh, Karsans Indian agent M Sambasiva Rao, one D Mallesam Goud and Brazilian national AE Pinto,

one of those who brokered the deal.

The accused were charged with criminal conspiracy under Section 120 B read with Sections 409 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code and under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.