Friday, June 28, 2013

Railway bribery: CBI probing role of Pawan Kumar Bansal's secretary

, , , CNN-IBN | Jun 27, 2013
New Delhi: Almost two months after the Railway Board bribery scandal came to the limelight, more details have emerged about the alleged involvement of former Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's secretary Rahul Bhandari. CNN-IBN has accessed the latest CBI inquiry report in the case.
CBI sources told CNN-IBN that its investigation is now focussing on Bhandari, a 1997 batch Punjab Cadre IAS officer. The channel has also accessed exclusive details of CBI's Preliminary Enquiry against Bhandari and Railway supplier Sandeep Goel.
The Preliminary Enquiry reveals how the duo managed a number of transfers and postings in the Railways in lieu of bribes. Goel allegedly received Rs 14 lakh which eventually went to Bhandari for managing the transfer of the Controller of Stores Northern Railways. Goel also reportedly received Rs 10 lakh bribe to arrange the transfer of Chief Electrical Engineer Northern Railways. Even this money allegedly went to Bhandari.
The CBI in its inquiry report has also emphasised on the need for further investigation into the roles of Bhandari, Goel and other officials. The central investigating agency is also probing the extend to which Bhandari was involved in floating and approval of tenders.
The CBI has already accessed the files of transfers and appointments in the Railways Ministry in the last four years. The fear now is that it could be a well-oiled racket operating out of the Rail Bhawan in New Delhi. The scam had come to the light in relation to the promotion of Mahesh Kumar as a Railway Board member.
The big questions before the CBI now are:
- Was Bansal in the know of the role of Bhandari or the latter was acting on his own?
- Was Bhandari acting as a conduit?
- To what extent was Railway Board involved in transfers and tenders?
The case that began as an open and shut case of bribery that cost Pawan Bansal his job has now become a maze of questions.

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