The CBI Tuesday filed a chargesheet against 10 accused,including Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar,in the railway bribery case without waiting for the prosecution sanction from Railways Ministry. The ministry had reportedly assured the CBI to give its nod to prosecute Kumar by Wednesday.
The chargesheet filed in a Delhi court has also named Vijay Singla,nephew of former railways minister P K Bansal. The agency said it has not so far found any evidence against Bansal and so has not named him in the chargesheet. It also said that there is plan to file a supplementary chargesheet.
The others named in the chargesheet include middlemen Sandeep Goyal,Samir Sandhir,Sushil Daga,Ajay Garg,Rahul Yadav,businessman Manjunath and his two aides,P V Murali and Venugopal. All of them have been booked for corruption and criminal conspiracy. The two courier boys who delivered the bribe money have not been named. The court is likely to take up the chargesheet on Wednesday.
Sources said the CBI request to prosecute Kumar reached the ministry only on Friday. The ministry sent its views after a board meeting to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVC nod reportedly arrived on Tuesday. Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge,who was in Karnataka. returned to Delhi in the evening. The ministers signature is a must for the nod.
Sources said the process to get prosecution sanction cannot be rushed through as it can be challenged in court. A Supreme Court directive had said that a ministry or department can take up to three months to process a prosecution request against government servant.
In the chargesheet,the CBI has accused Singla of receiving Rs 90 lakh from the conduits of Kumar for fixing the post of Member (electrical),Railway Board. The agency has alleged that a bribe of Rs 10 crore was demanded by Singla for allegedly fixing the post and provided the list of witnesses and telephone transcripts between Kumar and Singla. The transcripts were found to genuine by CFSL.
The CBI has said that a Chandigarh-based private person had demanded Rs 10 crore from then Member (Staff) for appointing him as Member (Electrical). The money was to be delivered to him in instalments of Rs 2 crore immediately,Rs.3 crore just after appointment as Member (Electrical) and Rs 5 crore after 5-6 months.
The CBI laid a trap and both private persons of Panchkula and Chandigarh were caught accepting Rs.89.68 lakh from the two associates of one private person of New Delhi (an acquaintance of Managing Director of a Bangalore-based private firm).