A local court here has convicted Ramar Pillai, who came into the limelight for developing a "herbal fuel" and four others of cheating and sentenced them to three years rigorous imprisonment for cheating, the CBI said on Friday.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 6,000 each on all.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Pillai had, in 1999 and 2000, colluded with other persons to illegally mix petroleum products like toluene, naphtha and others and market the product as 'Ramar Petrol' or "Ramar Tamildevi Mooligai Eriporul", claiming that it was an herbal extract that could be used in automobiles as a fuel.
The CBI said the "herbal fuel" was only a mixture of petroleum products which was prohibited and Pillai misrepresented the fact and sold it through various sales outlets.
Pillai also cheated the outlet owners by collecting huge amount as deposits and fuel costs and in the process, he and his associates gained Rs.2.27 crore by cheating the public, it said.
The verdict and sentencing came on Thursday, said the CBI.
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