New Delhi: Former Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, alleged to be involved in the railway bribery scam, said the Central Bureau of Investigation found no proof against him. His reaction came for the time to reports alleging that he was directly involved in fixing rail contracts.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, the former minister said the CBI questioned me for seven hours but they did not find anything. "I had no role in the scam. I had no clue of any wrongdoing."
The CBI had in its chargesheet named Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla as an accused. The CBI raided Singla's residence and he is currently under judicial custody. "The CBI raided my nephew's residence. Everyone should appreciate it," he said.
The case relates to the cash for job scam, but Bansal denied of having any financial links with his nephew. "I never had nor have any financial links with my nephew. If he was using my name then that is a separate thing," he said. "I am not associated with this matter, I did not know about it," he said.
On the Bharatiya Janata Party allegations that the CBI is going soft on Bansal, he said, "We must have faith in the system. The matter is in the court and would ask everyone to wait for the verdict," he added.
The CBI had also named Bansal as a prosecution witness in the case and said that Singla was the "main person" whose influence was to be used to get a Railway Board Member appointed to a post seen as "lucrative".
Bansal had to quit from the post of Railway Minister when his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested for allegedly receiving bribe money from conduit of Railway Board Member (Staff) Mahesh Kumar on May 3. Singla and Kumar were booked as main conspirators in the bribery case.
The case relates to alleged aspirations of Kumar for his elevation as Member (Electrical) in Railway Board for which he had allegedly contacted Sandeep Goyal, a close associate of Singla. Goyal had allegedly demanded Rs 10 crore for it.
Kumar was promoted from General Manager (West) to Member (Staff) in Railway Board, a post which he was apparently not very interested in. He had then allegedly asked Goyal to help him retain the additional charge of General Manager (West) for which the middleman demanded Rs 2 crore as immediate payment.
The CBI had alleged that a part payment of Rs 90 lakh was delivered to Singla after which it carried out searches at their premises and recovered the bribe amount.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)