Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday failed to appear before a Delhi court as a prosecution witness in the Rs 10-crore cash-for-post scam which took place during his tenure. As per the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla was the architect of the scam.
Bansal’s advocate Puneet Ahluwalia told the court that his client was seeking exemption as he was “suffering from viral fever”. The lawyer also gave an undertaking that the former minister would appear before the court on “any date after September 19”.
The court reserved its order on the plea till 4pm, when CBI special judge Swarana Kanta Sharma issued fresh summons for Bansal to appear before her court on September 22. However, the court made it clear that no more exceptions would be allowed.
In the meantime, the court continued the trial in the scam by deposing prosecution witness Udai Suryavanshi -- a close associate of the Singlas -- in connection with intercepted conversations between Vijay Singla, Mahesh Kumar and co-accused Sandeep Goyal, Manjunath, Rahul Yadav, Ajay Garg, Samir Sandhir and Sushil Daga. Suryavanshi’s deposition, only partially recorded, would continue on Wednesday.
Singla is accused of accepting bribe to get a Railway Board post for now suspended member Mahesh Kumar. Eight others are also facing trial in the matter. The CBI alleged that Singla demanded Rs 10 crore from Kumar for his appointment as member (electrical) and it was decided between the accused that Rs 5 crore would be paid before the appointment and the rest after the job was done.