Former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will soon be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged cash-for-post scam. The then Minister had to tender his resignation after the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla for purportedly having received a bribe from the then Railway Board Member (Staff) to secure his appointment as Railway Board Member (Electrical).
As earlier reported in The Hindu, the agency made up its mind a month ago to quiz Mr. Bansal given the facts and circumstances of the case. On condition of anonymity, CBI officials had then said that to prepare a watertight case they would “investigate the case to its logical end” and probe all those connected with the main conspirators and since Mr. Bansal was the Railway Minister and related to accused Mr. Singla, he would be approached for clarifications as the investigation progresses.
“His statement will be recorded by the investigating team before a final report (charge-sheet) is filed in the case,” said a CBI official, confirming that Mr. Bansal will soon be questioned.
The agency had in the last week quizzed Vinay Mittal, seeking answers regarding the recent promotion of Mahesh Kumar, the then Railway Board Member (Staff) who was arrested after the CBI sleuths caught Mr. Singla and his associates red-handed while allegedly receiving a part of the bribe amount (Rs. 90 lakh in cash) in Chandigarh last month.
CBI investigations revealed that the amount had been financed on Mr. Kumar’s behalf by his alleged accomplice Narayan Rao Manjunath, who is the managing director of the Bangalore-based G.G. Tronics India Private Limited — a company engaged in manufacturing signal products and automation railway components.
Interestingly, after the agency busted the purported bribery scam, it has received a series of complaints alleging irregularities in the posting and tender allocations in the Railway Ministry. One of the complainants has levelled a serious allegation of circumventing of rules and interference in the posting of an Indian Railway Service officer for a government body under a different Ministry.
“All the complaints that we have received are being looked into and in case we come across prima facie evidence of any irregularity, formal investigations would be launched in each such complaint,” said another CBI official.
The CBI has registered the case under Section 7 (public servant taking gratification), Section 8 (taking gratification to influence public servant) and Section 10 (Punishment for abetment by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, besides Section 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Since some of the provisions constitute scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Enforcement Directorate has also undertaken a probe.