New Delhi: In the absence of sanction for prosecution against a Railway board member, the CBI's chargesheet in the railway bribery scam, which cost Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal his job as Railway Minister, may not be filed within stipulated time till July 3.
This may pave way for automatic bail for the 10 accused arrested in the case in the absence of the chargesheet within mandatory period of 60 days from the day of the arrest.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Monday said, "We will try to file the chargesheet. Our probe is still on." The CBI Director was replying to a question whether the agency would comply with the procedures which stipulate filing of the chargesheet within 60 days of the arrest of the accused.
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 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had approached the Railway Ministry for granting sanction for prosecution against Kumar, a 1975 batch of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE), which was still awaited, official sources said.
During the investigations so far, the CBI has questioned Bansal and arrested as many as 10 people including Bansal's nephew and the railway board member.
The case relates to alleged aspirations of Kumar for his elevation as Member (Electrical) in Railway Board for which he allegedly contacted Sandeep Goyal, a close associate of Singla. Goyal 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 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 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.