In a huge embarrassment for the UPA government, the CBI on Friday arrested railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew for accepting Rs. 90 lakh in bribe from a senior railway officer seeking “a lucrative posting”.
Senior agency officials said Bansal's nephew V Singla was arrested in Chandigarh for accepting the money from one Manjunath, an alleged middleman for railway board member (staff) Mahesh Kumar.
Kumar was arrested at the Mumbai airport soon after he arrived from Delhi. He allegedly wanted the position as member (electrical), which falls vacant on July 1.
“The new post would have given him the power to influence advanced signalling and telecom contracts worth Rs. 2,300 crore,” a CBI officer, who didn't wish to be identified, said.
The deal was allegedly struck for Rs. 2-crore and Rs. 90 lakh was the first instalment.
The railway board is the highest decision-making body of the Indian Railways. Bansal was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts by HT to contact him.
Manjunath, who appeared to have “mobilised the money” on behalf of Kumar, has also been named in the FIR along with one Sandeep Goyal.