Railway bribery scandal: Court takes note of charge sheet

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) A Delhi court Thursday took cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the CBI against Vijay Singla, nephew of former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, and nine others in the alleged Rs.10 crore cash-for-post bribery scandal.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma took cognizance of the charge sheet and posted the matter for proceedings July 11.

Filing the formal charges July 2, the probe agency named as the accused Singla, suspended Railway Board Member Mahesh Kumar, alleged middlemen Sandeep Goyal, Samir Sandhir, Sushil Daga, Ajay Garg, Rahul Yadav and businessman Manjunath and his aides P.V. Murali and Venugopal.

Barring Murali and Venugopal, the CBI has arrested eight others named in its charge sheet.

Bansal, a Congress leader who lost his job in the cabinet after the scam surfaced, was questioned by the CBI but was not named in the charge sheet as the agency could not find any evidence of his direct involvement.

However, Bansal has been named as a prosecution witness.

The agency filed a list of 90 prosecution witnesses along with the charge sheet and named Bansal as the 39th witness.

All the accused have been formally charged for the offence of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Bansal, the CBI has also named Railway Board's former chairman Vinay Mittal, who retired July 1, as a prosecution witness.

It also named Railway Board's Joint Secretary (Confidential) P. Rajeshkaran and Joint Director Vigilance R. Vijayan Nair, as witnesses. Several officials from various banks have been named as witnesses.

The CBI arrested the accused for their alleged roles in the bribe case, in which a deal of Rs.10 crore was finalised for arranging for Mahesh Kumar one of the top positions in the Railway Board.

Manjunath and Goyal, managing director of GG Tronics India Pvt. Ltd., helped Mahesh Kumar in arranging money to give bribe to Singla and were to get favours from Mahesh Kumar after his appointment as Railway Board member (electrical).

Singla allegedly demanded Rs.10 crore and accepted a bribe of Rs.90 lakh from Mahesh Kumar for his (Mahesh Kumar's) future appointment as member (electrical) of the powerful Railway Board. Singla accepted a bribe of Rs.90 lakh May 3 in his office, the CBI said.

"There is evidence that he accepted a bribe of Rs 90.lakh on May 3 in his office, which was the part-payment of total bribe of Rs.10 crore for the alleged appointment of (Mahesh) Kumar as member (electrical)," the charge sheet said.

Singla was the "main person" whose influence was to be used for the appointment of Mahesh Kumar, the CBI said.


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