Thursday, June 20, 2013

RAIL CASH FOR JOBS SCAM: CBI to seek Speaker’s nod to initiate probe against Bansal

New Delhi: Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal may be in serious trouble as the CBI is planning to approach the Lok Sabha Speaker for permission to initiate a probe against him in the railway bribery scandal, top sources told TOI.

The draft chargesheet in the bribery scandal, in which Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla and railway board member (staff) Mahesh Kumar have been named along with others, was recently sent to the agency’s director of prosecution (DoP) for legal opinion and once the legal department gives its opinion, the investigating team is likely to approach the Lok Sabha Speaker. The DoP is likely to give its opinion by next week, sources said.

Bansal, an MP from Chandigarh, was recently questioned by the CBI on his role in appointment of Mahesh Kumar and bribe taken by his nephew. Being a Lok Sabha MP, the CBI has to take permission from the Speaker to officially charge him. “Since he is not a minister anymore, we don’t need to go to the President. We will have to go to the Speaker of Lok Sabha,” an officer said.

Sources said that they didn’t have evidence of money being taken on Bansal’s behalf by his nephew but had some proof which suggested connivance even as conversations between the accused had several references to him.

Bansal’s secretary Rahul Bhandari is also in trouble with the agency recently registering a preliminary enquiry against him to probe transfer/postings in the railways. Bansal had to resign after the case came to light.

During his interrogation recently, Bansal told the CBI that his nephew was acting independently and he had no role in the bribery scandal, sources said.

CBI had claimed that Bansal was interrogated in the capacity of a ‘suspect’ and was asked questions mainly on two aspects -- if he was aware of transactions between his nephew Vijay Singla and Mahesh Kumar and if norms were followed in the appointment of Mahesh Kumar.
Neeraj Chauhan TNN

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