New Delhi: The CBI has arrested five persons including three senior railway officers over an alleged bribery racket. In the racket vendors paid regular kickbacks to get preferential goods rake allotment at Bihar’s Hajipur, officials said Monday. The agency said the three arrested railway officials are Sanjay Kumar, from the Indian Railways Traffic Service’s 1996 batch, Rupesh Kumar and Sachin Mishra (both from the 2011 batch).
While Sanjay is posted as Chief Freight Transportation Manager (CFTM) at Hajipur-headquartered East Central Railway (ECR), Rupesh and Sachin are senior divisional operations manager at Samastipur and Sonpur respectively.
It has been alleged in a CBI FIR that they were collecting regular bribes from ECR vendors for preferential allotment of rakes for loading goods, the officials quoted above said.
The CBI has also arrested Nawal Ladha of Kolkata-based Abha Agro Industries Pvt Ltd, and a private person named Manoj Kumar Saha in connection with the case, officials stated.
During searches at 16 locations in Patna, Sonpur, Hajipur, Samastipur and Kolkata, Rs 46.50 lakh was recovered including cash in six envelopes from a sports utility vehicle (SUV) allegedly meant for distribution among the ECR officers, the CBI officials informed.
“It was further alleged that director of a private company based at Kolkata pursuant to a well-knit conspiracy with public servants of East Central Railway, regularly avails out of turn and priority allotment of railway rake services, having extra stacking time for his firm and other undue advantages in exchange of payment of huge bribes on monthly basis to the said public servants,” the CBI said in a statement.
Ladha had allegedly directed his brother to send Rs. 23.5 lakh to be delivered to various officers of ECR, it alleged.
The CBI has alleged Ladha as and when required pursued his requirement of railway rakes and other allied issues with the accused ECR officers in return for hefty bribes on a monthly basis, the FIR alleged.
The agency had received information that Rupesh had allegedly received Rs 4 lakh May 24, 2022 and Rs 6 lakh June 27 from Ladha that were sent through his driver Manoj Saha.
Similarly, Sachin had allegedly received Rs 6 lakh May 24, Rs 3.5 lakh June 11 while Sanjay had received Rs 10 lakh May 24 and another Rs 10 lakh June 20 from Ladha, the CBI said in its FIR.
Ladha had allegedly directed Manoj and Bajrang July 30 to send Rs 23.5 lakh to Patna, Sonpur and Samastipur in different envelopes each – two containing Rs 6ix lakh each, while others containing Rs 5 lakh, one Rs 3 lakh, Rs. 2.75 lakh, Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 25,000 each – to be delivered to various officers of ECR, the FIR said.
The alleged delivery was earlier planned July 16 but it was deferred as Sanjay had told Ladha that he would not be available on that day, the FIR said.