Thursday, May 9, 2013

Railway bribery scam: Mamu will fix Kumar’s posting, Singla boasted

Railway bribery scam: Mamu will fix Kumar’s posting, Singla boasted

NEW DELHI: CBI sources on Wednesday said they had evidence to prove that Pawan Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla had been "boasting about his maternal uncle (mama) being the railway minister and confidently assuring Sandeep Goyal that Mahesh Kumar would be made member (electrical)" in the Railway Board.

This could spell trouble for Bansal as he has maintained that Singla was acting on his own and he had nothing to do with his nephew's activities. The CBI probe also got closer to the minister with sources saying the agency had examined his long-time private secretary Rahul Bhandari on Wednesday.

According to sources, while invoking his mama to assure that Kumar's promotion would be cleared, Singla also allegedly talked about other postings/transfers he got done in the Railway Board in the past.

"Recorded conversations between Vijay Singla, Sandeep Goyal, Mahesh Kumar and Manjunath have several references to the railway minister. Singla is confidently assuring Goyal that the minister would get the work done and Goyal further assures Mahesh Kumar. We have to verify the same by checking whether the railway minister signed any document to give dual charge to Mahesh Kumar," a top CBI source said.

After Singla's assurance, Mahesh Kumar verified the claim on his own and also checked the track record of Singla and Goyal to ascertain whether they could get the job done. "Once Mahesh Kumar got convinced, he agreed to pay and that's when he called Manjunath, asking him to arrange the money," the CBI officer said. The agency will soon call Bansal to clarify the claims made by his nephew and about previous postings which have come under the scanner.

CBI has, meanwhile, formally started investigations into all recruitments, transfers, postings and promotions since October 28, 2012, the day Bansal took charge of the ministry.

Sources said the crucial appointments include member (engineering) S K Jain, member (mechanical) Arunendra Kumar and member (staff) Mahesh Kumar and the agency has sought all documents related to their appointment apart from that of some general managers.

The agency is questioning all 10 accused - Vijay Singla, Sandeep Goyal, Ajay Garg, Mahesh Kumar, Manjunath, Dharmendra Kumar, Vivek Kumar, Sushil Daga, Samir Sandhir and Rahul Yadav -- confronting them with documentary and telephonic evidence. About Delhi-based businessmen Rahul Yadav and Samir Sandhir and Faridabad-based Sushil Daga, sources said they were not regular contractors in railways and were "money-arrangers" for Manjunath, who had got several contracts in the railways.

The agency has received documents related to appointment of Mahesh Kumar from the railway ministry and the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) while documents related to other postings are expected in a week's time.

CBI officials on Wednesday said they will not "share any details of investigations/status reports or any other details with railway ministry, board or any other government authority", in the 'jobs for sale' scam, a claim which comes in the backdrop of Supreme Court's strictures against the CBI in Coalgate.


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