Rly exam scam busted, 8 held | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rly exam scam busted, 8 held

The railway ministry on Friday suspended S.M. Sharma, the Mumbai Recruitment Board Chairman, after his son was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a recruitment scam.

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2010 00:02 IST

The railway ministry on Friday suspended S.M. Sharma, the Mumbai Recruitment Board Chairman, after his son was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a recruitment scam.

The CBI has so far arrested Vivek Bhardwaj, Sharma’s son, and seven others in a railway recruitment scam related to the examinations for posts of assistant loco pilot and assistant station master, conducted at Sholapur and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Besides Bharadwaj, former assistant divisional railway manager of Raipur A.K. Jagannatham and his son Srujan have also been arrested by the CBI.

As part of countrywide raids, the CBI on Friday raided the residence of A.K. Jagannatham, CEO of the Hassan–Mangalore Railway Development Corporation and former additional divisional railway manager, Raipur, and recovered 444 original certificates of as many job applicants.

The certificates were kept as surety till each of the selected candidates paid Rs 3.5 lakh.

“Jagannatham is the kingpin of the entire scam who mobilised job aspirants through agents all over the country, “ said V.V. Laxminarayana, CBI DIG, adding that the scam could involve more than Rs 20 crore.

The investigating agency conducted simultaneous raids at Mumbai, Bangalore, Raipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

The Railway Board has assured “all cooperation” to the CBI in the probe into the examinations. “Officials at any level found responsible will be dealt with severely,” an official statement said.

Aiming at a complete revamp of the recruitment process, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee — in an unprecedented move last November — sacked 20 RRB chairmen across the country.

A mechanism for centralised monitoring of the recruitment process had also been talked about.

Banerjee’s initiatives at overhauling the recruitment process do not seem to have brought about the structural changes that are required.

The recruitment process in the railways has remained mired with allegations of corruption, irregularities and leaks of question papers.