'Frame charges in railway bribery case'
A court here has found prime facie evidence against all the 10 accused in the railway bribery case and ordered framing of charges against them.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma delivered the order Thursday.
The accused in the Rs.10 crore cash-for-post bribery case include former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar.
"Be listed for framing of charge against all the accused people on March 11," the court said.
"Having discussed law on charge, law on conspiracy, intercepted conversation amongst the accused persons and the other overt acts of the accused, I am of the opinion that prima facie... following charges are made out against the accused persons," the court said.
The probe agency has named as the accused Singla, Kumar, alleged middlemen Sandeep Goyal, Samir Sandhir, Sushil Daga, Ajay Garg, Rahul Yadav and businessman Manjunath and his aides M.V. Murli Krishan and Venugopal in its chargesheet filed July last year.
The court has found substantive evidence against Singla under section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant).
The court noted that CBI filed details regarding the trail of money that is the source of bribe amount as to how it was collected and the conspiracy within the conspiracy as to how accused Manjunath mobilised the bribe amount from various sources.
"Interestingly, some people he had requested for money on the ground that accused Mahesh Kumar after becoming Member (Electrical) will award them contracts had refused to be part of this conspiracy," the court said.
"If this money recovered from accused Vijay Singla was part of the land deal where was the question of Manjunath specifically asking people in Calcutta, Madras and Delhi for mobilisation of funds which were ultimately recovered from accused Vijay Singla."
The court noted that there is continuous conversation between Yadav and Manjunath as well as accused Venugopal, Sandhir and Daga regarding the present conspiracy.
It observed that accused Manjunath had arranged the money and was in touch with Yadav, Venugopal, M.V. Murli Krishan and other co-accused as well as to how the money is to be arranged, collected and delivered to Singla in Chandigarh from where it was ultimately recovered.
The court has remarked that corruption in country has reached "unimaginable proportions" and the case revealed a "novel way" of payment of bribe to achieve the aim.
"As I had observed earlier in my order, the culture of 'sifarish' and right contacts with powerful persons are the only thing which matter today for earning quick money.
"Needless to say, with each changing day, the modus operandi of such corrupt person is also not only changing but the corrupt are becoming more cautious and secretive taking lessons from the previous instances of cases where corrupt officers have been caught and sent up for trial," the judge said, adding: "The present case in hand reveals a novel way of payment of bribe to achieve one's aim."
(Posted on 07-03-2014)