Tuesday, May 7, 2013

dna exclusive: CBI looks for more Mahesh Kumars

May 8, 2013 New Delhi:-

The Central Bureau of Investigation is planning to inspect all high-level appointments to the railway board in the past four years, which may bring more skeletons tumbling out of the closet in the railway cash for posts scam.

The CBI is likely to seek files pertaining to such appointments from the ministry of railways. This means the regimes of at least four cabinet ministers, who were in the motorman's seat in the past four years, will come under the scanner.

Ministry sources said that CBI sleuths had a meeting with all railway board members on Saturday — a day after the agency arrested board member Mahesh Kumar, who allegedly paid a bribe to railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla to secure the plum post of member (electrical).

"The CBI has sought all files relating to board-level appointments and also Grade B appointments done in the past four years. The agency is going over at least 2,000 tapes of alleged conversations between top railway ministry officials and Vijay Singla," a senior ministry official told dna.

The CBI investigation, which has been in the works for more than a month, will put the spotlight on four key cabinet ministers. Three of them — Mamata Banerjee, Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy — belonged to the erstwhile UPA ally Trinamool Congress, while Congress minister CP Joshi briefly held the additional charge of the ministry last year.

The agency's attempt to unearth the rot in the system is likely to open a can of worms as the corridors of the railway ministry are full of stories of contravention of rules during appointments to the top posts.

Vivek Sahay, who became chairman of the railway board during Banerjee's tenure in May 2010, allegedly had several vigilance cases pending against him at the time of his appointment.

Sahay was member (traffic) before his promotion to the post of chairman. Despite his promotion, he continued to hold additional charge of member (traffic) for at least 11 months. In February 2011, a petition filed against Sahay on these grounds was quashed by the Delhi high court just before his retirement in June 2011.

The interlinked guidelines for board-level promotion, which prescribe at least one year experience as general manager of a zone and a balance tenure of two years, have also been violated on several occasions.

During Lalu Yadav's tenure as railway minister, this rule was allegedly flouted in the case of RR Bhandari, who allegedly became a member without having two years of service remaining, according to ministry sources. Corruption cases also surfaced in the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India – a railway undertaking – and the then managing director VK Kaul was shown the door.

Interestingly, of the 17,000 vigilance complaints against various ministries, at least 8,500 pertain to the ministry of railways.

In February this year, the clamour for top railway board posts, which were about to become vacant, also led to large-scale lobbying in the ministry corridors.

Railway board chairman Vinay Mittal, meanwhile, has clarified that no flouting of norms happened in the recent appointments of members (engineering and mechanical).

Railway minister Pawan K Bansal's nephew; director of JTL Infra Ltd. Arrested. Caught while receiving Rs90 lakh bribe from railway official Mahesh Kumar to ensure his appointment as member (electricals) in the Railway Board. In CBI custody till May 9.

Delhi-based businessman believed to be a close associate of Narain Rao Manjunath. Taken into custody on May 5 and on Tuesday sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Bangalore businessman arrested and charged with acting as middleman and paying a bribe for Mahesh Kumar. His firm designs, manufactures electronic safety systems for railways. CBI sources say Kumar promised him 'favours' once he became member (electrical).

Businessman, official contractor to the railways. His company Pyramid Electronics makes electrical equipment for railways. He allegedly brokered the deal. He promised Mahesh he would arrange the lucrative post of member (electrical) for Rs10 crore. Is in custody.

Panchkula resident and close aide of Vijay Singla. Middleman in the bribery case. Owns firm that supplies electrical goods to the railways. In CBI custody till May 9.

Mahesh Kumar

Member (staff) Railway Board. In CBI custody. Main accused. Allegedly paid Rs90 lakh bribe to Singla to move to more 'lucrative' post of member (electricals), railway board.

Vivek's lawyer says he is a computer operator and had no knowledge of conspiracy. Dharmendra also believed to be a courier boy. Sushil Daga, one more accused, has not yet been arrested.

Pawan Bansal's private secretary Rahul Bhandari is under the scanner for his close proximity with Vijay Singla, the railway minister's nephew. They were in constant touch till a day before Singla's arrest. The CBI is likely to question Bhandari soon.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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