Exclusive: Zee Media exposé on rail scam
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In an exclusive exposé, Zee Media on Friday revealed the details of cash-for-post railway bribery scandal that pushed Pawan Kumar Bansal to resign from his post as Railway Minister.
The alleged Rs 10 crore bribery scandal, which involved Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, has sent shockwaves through the political circles.
Zee Media has managed to access the transcripts of phone conversations among key players in the Railway bribery scam.
More than 1,500-page Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chargesheet exposes how the top posts and promotions were sold in the Railways.
On April 17, 2013, alleged middleman Sandeep Goyal telephoned Member (Staff), Railway Board, Mahesh Kumar, and directed him to speak with 'Vijay' on a telephone number, which turned out to be of the official residence of Pawan Kumar Bansal. Zee Media has verified the number from the official website of the Lok Sabha.
On April 18, 2013, the conversation between Sandeep Goyal and Narayan Rao Manjunath reveals that a Rs 10 crore deal was struck between the two for the post of 'Member Electrical', a technical post in Railway, to Mahesh Kumar.
The chargesheet also reveals how middlemen claim to fix bribery deals with ministers in exchange of posts.
In the evening on April 18, 2013, Manjunath allegedly had a conversation with someone called 'Dada', in which he claimed that he "negated through a very high contact minister level". "I have made a very good arrangement with, meeting arrange for between Mahesh Kumar and the minister itself" in Delhi.
The next day, i.e. on April 19, 2013, the transcript reveals that Manjunath told Mahesh Kumar that his deal for the promotion has been struck for Rs 10 crore, which he could pay in two instalments. "5 crore first, 5 crore you can take 5-6 months," Manjunath told Mahesh.
On April 20, 2013, middleman Sandeep Goyal claimed that he held talks with "minister" during an inauguration in Chandigarh. Goyal further told Mahesh Kumar that the minister told him that Mahesh's file is stuck. Notably, Pawan Kumar Bansal had gone to Chandigarh on April 19, 2013, to inaugurate Ludhiana-Chandigarh broad gauge rail line. Although the charge sheet doesn’t say that Sandeep met Mr. Bansal that day.
On April 30, 2013, the names of Vijay and his "uncle" Pawan Kumar Bansal figured in the conversation between Sandeep Goyal and Manjunath. 'I had a long discussion this evening with Vijay, who told me that Uncle Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal may be there (in the Railway Minister post) for 6 months may be for a year, may be there for 15 months', Sandeep told Manjunath.