STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 11 March
A city court today put on trial former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla and nine others in the Rs 10-crore railway bribery case.
The accused did not plead guilty of the charges and claim trial. Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma framed the charges against the 10 accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC read with provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and posted the matter for August 25 for commencement of recording of evidence in the case.
The CBI has named Congress leader Bansal as a prosecution witness in its charge sheet filed last year.
The court observed that the accused had prima facie entered into a criminal conspiracy to get Mahesh Kumar appointed as Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board and for that Singla was to be paid Rs 10 crore illegal gratification.
"You (Singla) during the period between January 2013 to 3 May, 2013 had reportedly accepted illegal gratification of Rs 89,68,000 from your co-accused Mahesh Kumar, N R Manjunath, Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, C V Venugopal and M V Murali Krishan for yourself or for any other person as a motive or reward for inducing by the exercise of your personal influence on any public servant for appointing your co-accused Mahesh Kumar as Member (electrical) in Railway Board and thereby you committed an offence under section 9 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and within my cognisance," said the court.
The matter has now been fixed for 25 August for recording of statements of prosecution witnesses, Vinay Mittal, former Chairman of Railway Board and another official of the Ministry of Railways.
Apart from Singla, the court framed charges against then Member (Staff) of Railway Board Mahesh Kumar, Managing Director of Bangalore-based G G Tronics India Pvt Limited N R Manjunath, middlemen Ajay Garg and Sandeep Goyal besides Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, C V Venugopal and M V Murali Krishan.
Earlier, the court had ordered framing of charges against all the accused.
The court also observed that as per the records placed before it, Rs 2 crore was to be paid immediately and Kumar had instructed Manjunath to arrange the same through other co-accused.
It said that Kumar, during between January 2013 to 3 May, 2013, while working in various capacities, General Manager, western Railways till forenoon of 1 May, 2013 and Member (staff) Railway Board in the Ministry of Railways as public servant at various places i.e. Delhi and Mumbai had demanded illegal gratification of Rs 2 crore and had accepted part of it from your co-accused.
"You Mahesh Kumar …by abusing your official position obtained pecuniary advantage to the tune of Rs 89,68,000 from accused N R Manjunath, Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, C V Venugopal and M V Murali Krishan which was delivered on your behalf to Vijay Singla and Sandeep Goyal at Chandigarh and thereby you committed an offence under section 13 (2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and within my cognisance," said the court.