October 14, 2016
Chennai: The man who had the national and international media eating out his hands – confidence fraudster Ramar Pillai, the herbal petrol man – has been found guilty of cheating and sentenced to three years in jail.
Along with him four of his accomplices too have been sentenced for similar period and also fined Rs 6000 each after prosecution charges were held valid by additional chief metropolitan magistrate Balasubramaniam Ld. He sentenced, Pillai, R Venudevi, S.Chinnasamy, R.Rajasegaran and S K Bharat and sentenced them to undergo 3 years Rigorous Imprisonment for each and also imposed a total fine of Rs 30,000/-(Rs.6000/- each) in a cheating case filed by CBI.
During 1999-2000, Pillai and four others sold illegally made mixture of petroleum product containing toluene and naptha and branded it as Ramar Petrol, or Ramar Tamildevi Mooligai Eriporul” giving an impression in the process that it was a fuel extracted from herbs.
On scientific tests it was found to be a hoax and was a mixture of petroleum products that was prohibited vide clause 3(V) of the Motor Sprit Speed Diesel(Regulation of Supply and Distribution and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 1988.
The prosecuting agency, CBI said Pillai misrepresented facts and sold the liquid as “Herbal fuel” to the public through various Sales Outlet Owners. He also cheated these owners and collected huge amounts as deposits and fuel costs. He and his associates made Rs 2.7 crore from this activity, the CBI charged.
Pillai hailed from a village near Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district and had caught the public eye in 1996 when he demonstrated his “invention” – in front of chief minister M Karunanidhi and a group of scientists.
The national and international media descended on Chennai to seek him out for media interviews and covered him prominently as the “savior of the world”.
But soon, scientists caught him out and the CBI was entrusted with the case and investigate the truth of the matter.
It is after a decade and half that the trial court has found him guilty.
The sentencing was done on Thursday by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate.