New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed a chargesheet against two former chief commercial managers of railways, a businessman, CEO of a private firm and eight companies for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 19.5 crore to the transporter by selling cheaper packaged water in place of Rail Neer.
CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said that charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act have been brought in the chargesheet filed at the Patiala House court here.
The sources said that the agency has kept open the probe into the case as the loss calculated is only for Northern Railway and figures may increase as the agency plans to expand investigations to 16 other zones as well.
Those named in the chargesheet include the then CCMs (catering) M S Chalia and Sandeep Silas, CEO of RK Associates, Rajeev Mittal, director of the company, Sharan Bihari Agarwal, besides private companies Satyam Caterers, Ambuj Hotels, PK Associates, Sunshine Caterers, Doon’s Caterers, Vrindavan Food Products, Food World and R D Sharma and Sons
It is alleged that the “accused had shown favour to these private firms in supply of cheap packaged drinking water (PDW) other than mandatory ‘Rail Neer’ on premium trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express”, CBI spokesperson said.
“During searches at various places, including Delhi/Noida, etc., at the residence and official premises of private caterers, huge cash of about Rs 28.5 crore (approx) was recovered. A large number of incriminating documents were also recovered from the premises of the accused,” she said.
The spokesperson said that investigations have revealed that during the period January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, the licensee caterers had allegedly not picked up Rail Neer as per the quota prescribed by IRCTC and supplied other cheaper brands of packaged drinking water (PDW) in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, despite it not being allowed.
“They had allegedly claimed reimbursement from Northern Railway as was prescribed for supply of Rail Neer. As per railway agreement/guidelines, except Rail Neer, no other brand of PDW was approved by the railway for supply in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains originating from Delhi,” CBI said.
She said that they were, however, allegedly providing other brands of PDW costing between Rs 5-7 per bottle (approx) and claiming Rs 15 per bottle (approx) from the railways.
“It has been revealed that there was an alleged undue gain of Rs 19.55 crore (approx) to the contractors/licensee and loss to the government exchequer in Northern Railway,” she said.