Suspended railway board member Mahesh Kumar got a personal assurance from Pawan Kumar Bansal to get “his work done” before paying the railway minister’s nephew Vijay Singla, the tainted official has told the CBI.
Sources in the investigative agency told HT this startling disclosure by Kumar was consistent with intercepted phone conversations between him and Singla and his associates, Ajay Garg and Sandeep Goyal. An official indicated that Bansal’s resignation would pave the way for his questioning “shortly”.
“A plain reading of circumstances totally goes against the former minister. His nephew was caught red-handed accepting (Rs. 90 lakh in) bribe money. Only the minister had the authority to give Mahesh Kumar his favoured posting of member (electrical) of the railway board. We have reason to believe that the bribe accepted by Singla was meant for Bansal himself and Mahesh Kumar claims that he paid only after an assurance from the minister,” said the official.
A few days before his arrest last Saturday, Kumar was elevated as member (staff) of the railway board from general manager (western railway).
The CBI alleges that to get the post of member (electrical), Kumar struck a deal of Rs. 10 crore with Goyal and Singla. But since the post was to fall vacant only after two months, he bargained for additional charge as general manager (western railway) and signal and telecommunication and agreed to pay Rs. 2 crore upfront for it.
But the CBI, listening in on their conversations, intercepted the first installment of Rs. 90 lakh at Singla’s office last Friday.