Rail Neer scam: 3 accused sent to 14-days' judicial custody

A special CBI court on Friday remanded to 14-day judicial custody the three accused arrested in connection with alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water in Rajdhani and other superfast trains.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 23, 2015, 14:12 PM IST

New Delhi: A special CBI court on Friday remanded to 14-day judicial custody the three accused arrested in connection with alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water in Rajdhani and other superfast trains.

Special CBI judge Vinod Kumar remanded two senior rail officers -- Sandeep Silas and MS Chalia -- and a businessman -- Sharan Bihari Agrawal -- to judicial custody after CBI submitted that they were not required for further custodial interrogation as of now.

"All the three accused are remanded to 14-day jusicial custody," the judge said.

The accused were produced before the court after completion of their five-day CBI custody.

The probe agency has said that Silas and Chalia conspired with Agrawal and instead of taking Rail Neer, they had allowed some private firms to supply water in the trains which resulted in a loss of Rs 6.25 crore to the exchequer.

It said that searches were conducted during the probe in which approximately Rs 28 crore cash was recovered out of which around Rs four lakh was counterfeit.

Silas, a 1984-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service(IRTS) officer, and Chalia of 1987 batch officer were taken into custody on Saturday night along with Agrawal, owner of R K Associates, in connection with the scam.

Besides them, the CBI has also registered case against seven private companies - RK Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food Product and Food World - under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI has alleged that the two accused officials, who held the position of Chief Commercial Manager, had shown favour to these private firms in supply of cheap packaged drinking water other than 'Rail Neer' which is mandatory in premium trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

It had said that the Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide Rail Neer at the rate of around Rs 10.50 per bottle to private caterers and they would be paid (approx) Rs 15 per bottle for supplying the same to the passengers in premium trains.

However, in order to make undue gains, private suppliers were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water, other than 'Rail Neer', available in the market at a rate of Rs 5.70 to Rs 7 (approx) per bottle, thereby making profit for themselves and loss to the exchequer.

CBI said the directions of Railway Board to ensure supply of 'Rail Neer' in premium trains were also ignored by the officials thereby causing undue pecuniary advantage to private parties and corresponding loss to the IRCTC.