Pawan Kumar Bansal. . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 26 : Vijay Singla, the nephew of then railway minister and Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal held meetings with Sandeep Goyal, one of the accused in the railway bribery scam, at the Delhi residence of the Minister and also used his landline phone, the Enforcement Directorate has claimed in its charge sheet in the railway bribery scam case.

The revelations were made in the ED charge sheet that has been filed in a Special PMLA court in Chandigarh last month, which has been viewed by IANS.

In his statement to ED in December 2018, Singla stated that he "met Goyal at the official residence of Bansal", who was then the Railway Minister.

Singla further stated that he stayed on number of times at the residence of Bansal in Delhi and also used his official landline phone.

The financial probe agency has filed a charge sheet against Mahesh Kumar, then Member Staff of the Railway Board, Singla, N. Manjunath, Goyal, Ajay Garg, Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, C.V. Venugopal, M.V. Murali Krishna and Venketeshwara Rail Nirman Pvt. Ltd. under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED case is based on the FIR and charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Kumar, Singla, Goyal and seven other accused persons.

The CBI had arrested Singla red handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 89.68 lakh for favourable posting of Kumar, a 1975 batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) as Member (Electrical), Railway Board.

"During the investigation it was revealed that Manjunath on behalf of Kumar had persuaded various Railway vendors/S&T manufactures/contractors for making arrangement of bribe amount for promotion of Kumar as Member (Electrical) by alluring them that all the contributors will be taken care of/benefited from the desired posting of Kumar," the official said.

It was also found that for the favourable posting of Kumar, the first instalment of the bribe amount of Rs 89.68 lakh was contributed by Manjunath, Krishna, Daga and Venketeshwara Rail Nirman Pvt. Ltd.

The officer said Rs 50 lakh was contributed by Manjunath himself, Rs 25 lakh by Krishna, Rs 5 lakh by Daga and Rs 10 lakh from the account of Venketeshwara Rail Nirman Pvt. Ltd. by Rahul Yadav and Daga.

"The said amount was routed through the account of various companies or individuals and with assistance of hawala agents," the officer said, adding: "The amount Rs 89.68 lakh was finally made available at Delhi in the form of cash which was delivered to Singla at his office in Sector 28, Chandigarh by the employees of Daga and Yadav of Delhi." The ED in July this year questioned Bansal for several hours in Chandigarh in connection with the case.

In May last year, the ED had attached the Rs 89 lakh amount which the CBI seized from the office of Bansal's nephew Singla in 2013 in the corruption case related to appointments at top positions in the railways, when the Congress leader was the Union Railway Minister in the United Progressive Alliance-2 regime.

Bansal had to step down from the post after the controversy.

"Singla demanded Rs 10 crore through Sandeep Goyal from N. Manjunath to get Mahesh Kumar posted as Member (Electrical)," the ED had said, quoting the CBI probe.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at anand.s@ians.in)

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