Know about Railway Bribery Scam which shelved Pawan Bansal's future

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Pawan Bansal seeks exemption on health grounds.
In May 2013, news about a Railway Bribery Scam in involving the then Railway Minister from Congress-led UPA regime Pawan Kumar Bansal came to fore. The case has yet not got over and the culprits have yet not been punished. Let's take a look at what the scam was and who all were involved in the scam.

What is Railway Bribery Scam?

Reports said that Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla received Rs 90 lakh part payment for the transfer of railway board member Mahesh Kumar from Member (Staff) to Member (Electrical), which is considered a lucrative posting.

Singla, was arrested in Chandigarh on 3 May 2013 for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 9 million (9,000,000) rupees from Narayana Rao Manjunath and Sandeep Goyal on behalf of Mahesh Kumar, a member of the Indian Railway Board, in exchange for getting a higher ranking position on the Railway Board.

It was reported that Kumar had superseded two seniors to be promoted to the Indian Railway Board, although this was denied by the railway ministry, but wanted to be another member who dealt with more contracts.

The actual money involved in the transaction was Rs 10 crore which would be distributed among the other officials involved in the transfer of Kumar.

The CBI in its investigation has acquired records of the phone conversations between Singla and Kumar. The involvement of Pawan Kumar in this scandal was suspected.

According to sources in the CBI, there is no direct money trail established in the Railway bribery case with Pawan Kumar Bansal so far.

Who are main accused in scam?

The court had framed charges against:

Vijay Singla, the then Member (Staff) of Railway Board and also nephew of railway minister Pawan Bansal.

Mahesh Kumar, Managing Director of Bangalore-based GG Tronics India Pvt Limited.

N R Manjunath, alleged middlemen.

Ajay Garg and Sandeep Goyal and co-accused Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, CV Venugopal and MV Murali Krishan.

The court, while framing charges against the accused, had observed that they had prima facie entered into a criminal conspiracy to get Mahesh Kumar appointed as Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board and for that Singla was to be paid Rs 10 crore as illegal gratification.

While framing charges against the accused, the court had also observed that as per the records placed before it, Rs 2 crore was to be paid immediately and Kumar had instructed Manjunath to arrange bribe amount of Rs 2 crore through other co-accused.

The probe agency had alleged that Singla had demanded Rs 10 crore from Kumar for his appointment to the post of Member (Electrical) and it was decided between the accused that Rs 5 crore will be paid before the appointment and the rest after the job was done.

Following his alleged involvement in the railway bribery scam Bansal lost the Lok Sabha polls from his traditional Chandigarh seat.

The latest development

Bansal, who was summoned as a witness in the bribery case, today sought exemption from personal appearance on health grounds before a special court.

Bansal's lawyer Puneet Ahluwalia moved an application before Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma saying that the Congress leader is suffering from viral fever and would appear before the court on the next date.

"He (Bansal) is suffering from viral fever. He will appear whenever the court directs him to come," he said. The court, however, said that it would hear the application at 11.30 AM, as it will record statement of one other CBI witness, who has appeared before it.

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