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CVC drops action against top officials of Train18 team

Vande Bharat Express. File

Vande Bharat Express. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has advised the Ministry of Railways to drop action against top officials of the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, who were part of the core team that made Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high speed train.

According to sources in the Indian Railways, the CVC has advised that no action be taken against the then General Manager Sudanshu Mani; Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer Shubhranshu; Principal Chief Electrical Engineer N. K. Gupta; Chief Design Engineer S. P. Vavre; and others, who were facing allegations of irregularities in the purchase of three-phase propulsion equipment for Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs), Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit, and Train18 (Vande Bharat Express).

In a note, the CVC said the clause that was “found to be restrictive by the Railway Board does not appear to be restrictive in view of the response received against the tenders”.

The Commission put on record its disagreement with the Disciplinary Authority and the Principal Executive Director (Vigilance), Railway Board, and advised ‘No Action’ against the then Chief Design Engineer S.P. Vavre, who retired from service on August 31, 2020.

Similarly, action was dropped against Mr. Mani and Mr. Gupta, both retired; Mr. Shubhranshu, presently Chief Administrative Officer, Rail Wheel Factory, Bela; and others. The enquiry was launched soon after the Vande Bharat Express ran into a controversy over allegations of irregularities in the purchase of electrics, and one firm being favoured in the procurement of the propulsion system, sources said.

Fresh case

Meanwhile, the Vigilance Directorate of the Railway Board has initiated a fresh case against Mr. Shubhranshu, the officer whose name was dropped from the panel of officers approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for posting as a General Manager in the Zonal Railways.

In another communication to the Railway Board, the CVC took a “serious view” of undue delays in submission of Interim Reports and Final Investigation Reports. Referring to the relevant provisions under the Indian Railway Vigilance Manual, 2018, it was pointed out that complaints referred to the CVC “must be investigated on priority”, and in all cases Interim and Final Investigation Reports should be sent within 12 weeks and six weeks, respectively.

Acting on the communication’s advisory, the Railway Board wrote to all Senior Deputy General Managers/Chief Vigilance Officers of all Zonal Railways, saying that undue delays in the submission of reports on complaints referred to the CVC should be strictly avoided. In justified cases, extension of the target date for the submission of reports should be sought well in advance, the letter said, sources added.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 1:47:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cvc-drops-action-against-top-railways-officials/article32613114.ece

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