New Delhi: There is no direct money trail established in the Railway bribery case with Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal so far, according to sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation. Sources say he can be questioned, but not before the CBI finds enough leads to warrant the questioning.
The agency on Thursday grilled the minister's personal secretary Rahul Bhandari, a 1997 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer, who is believed to be privy to all the crucial decisions taken in the ministry.
The sources said before approaching Bansal, the agency is likely to examine his OSD Vitul Kumar, an 1993-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, who is his sister's son-in-law. Vitul would be the second official working in the Minister's office under the CBI scanner after Bhandari. Bhandari faced tough questions from the CBI on transfers and postings in the ministry.
Bansal had skipped a Cabinet meet at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence on Thursday even as Law Minister Ashwani Kumar attended it. However, later on, the party, while downplaying reports of Bansal's absence at the meet, said that he had welcomed CBI probe into the Railway Board bribery scandal, in which his nephew Vijay Singla is an accused and is in jail.
(With additional information from PTI)