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CBI arrests railway engineering service official, 4 others in bribery case

Devesh K. Pandey NEW DELHI 19 January 2021 05:59 IST
Updated: 19 January 2021 01:19 IST

The agency seizes about ₹2.39 crore in cash during operation

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a senior Railway Engineering Service official, Mahendra Singh Chauhan, and four others on the allegation of receiving bribes from a private contractor. The agency seized about ₹2.39 crore in cash during the operation.

The 1985 batch official was posted as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in Construction-II unit of the North East Frontier Railway at Assam’s Maligaon.

The other arrestees are Deputy Chief Engineer Hem Chand Borah; Assistant Executive Engineer Laxmi Kant Verma; Bhupendra Rawat, an employee of Guwahati-based ABCI Infrastructures Private Limited; and the CAO’s relative Indra Singh. All the accused are being brought to Delhi on transit remand.

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The CAO had allegedly demanded ₹1 crore from the company’s director. The cash was being delivered by the company employee at the Dehradun residence of his relative when the CBI officials arrested them on Sunday. The money was also seized. Subsequently, three others were arrested.

“During searches, ₹18.5 lakh and ₹6.5 lakh were found on the premises of the Deputy Chief Engineer and the Assistant Executive Engineer. Apart from the alleged bribe amount of ₹1 crore, ₹60 lakh was seized in Dehradun and ₹54 lakh from the CAO’s Guwahati premises. Jewellery and property papers have also been found,” said a CBI official, adding that it was one of the biggest trap cases instituted by the agency.

The searches were conducted at 26 locations in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Assam, Tripura and West Bengal.

ABCI Infrastructures Private Limited’s director, Pawan Baid, has also been named in the FIR. The agency has alleged that some senior public functionaries of the North East Frontier Railway were indulging in corruption. The private contractors were being helped in getting work contracts, processing of pending bills, release of payments and other works, for illegal gratifications.

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