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Bribery scandal: Bansal`s office under CBI scanner

Preliminary investigations into the probe of the Railway bribery scandal are leading to the office of the Railway Minister.

New Delhi: Preliminary investigations into the probe of the Railway bribery scandal are leading to the office of the Railway Minister, but the probe agency would wait till it gets concrete evidence in this regard, CBI sources said on Wednesday.

Sources clarified that direct evidence of involvement of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has not surfaced so far, but at least four officials posted in his office would be questioned very soon. They, however, said Bansal`s clarification would be sought in connection with the alleged bribery case.
The CBI is still analysing over 1,000 tapped phone conversations intercepted by it during the period of over two months as part of its surveillance on now suspended Railway Board Member (Staff) Mahesh Kumar and Bansal`s nephew Vijay Singla, they said.

Clues about the role of the officials have surfaced in the analysis of these tapped conversations which show the alleged proximity of Singla to these officials posted in the Railway Minister`s office, they said.

The complicity of the officials in the Rs 10 crore bribery scandal would be decided after sustained interrogation of the arrested accused which include Singla and Kumar, the sources claimed.
Kumar, Singla and some other accused were giving conflicting replies and evasive in responses during their questioning, they said. The probe agency might explore options such as polygraph tests to bring out truth from them, they said.

Meanwhile, at least two associates of Singla and Kumar have come in handy for the probe agency in its investigation into the bribery scandal where Rs 90 lakh was allegedly paid by Kumar to Singla through middlemen.

The sources said the money was allegedly a part payment of the Rs 10 crore promised for lateral shifting of Kumar from Member (Staff) to Member (Electrical), which is considered a coveted position in the Railway Board.


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