Scrutinising all major appointments in the railway ministry: CBI Director

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said on Monday that his agency was scrutinising files related to all major appointments and contracts carried out in the railway ministry in the last three years. Expanding the scope of the probe into the alleged cash-for-jobs case, which has led to the resignation of Pawan Kumar Bansal, CBI was likely to lodge fresh cases for irregularities committed in the railway ministry during the tenures of Bansal’s predecessors Mukul Roy, Dinesh Trivedi and Mamata Banerji.
Ranjit_Sinha_CBI_Director_appointedA senior CBI official told ET that CBI has seized appointment files from the railway ministry from 2009 to 2013, after receiving a flood of complaints that the ministry has been riddled with irregularities. Banerji was the railway minister when the UPA government was sworn in for the second time in 2009. She was succeeded by Trivedi and subsequently Mukul Roy, both from her Trinamool Congress. Bansal was sworn in as the railway minister on October 28, 2012, after Banerji’s party quit the UPA.

CBI is studying appointments made in the Railway Protection Force amid allegations of rampant corruption in postings in RPF. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha was the Director-General of RPF, when he was unceremoniously shunted out in 2011 by Banerji, after he refused to provide RPF security for the minister. He was replaced by an officer who allegedly superseded over two dozen officers to become the RPF chief. This appointment was done in May 2011, during Banerji’s tenure. CBI is set to register a preliminary inquiry on questionable RPF appointments, a CBI source said.

CBI is also in the process of seizing files from the ministry on all contracts and postings or transfers of railway officials mentioned in numerous phone intercepts between Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla, his personal secretary Rahul Bhandari and former member (staff) of Railway Board, Mahesh Kumar.