CBI to widen probe in Railway bribery scandal

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigating the Railway bribery scandal has widened the probe to look into postings during former railway minister Mamata Banerjee's tenure as well.

The CBI is also looking into the out-of-turn appointment of P K Mehta as director general of Railway Protection Force, superseding 28 IPS officers.

Mehta was appointed as DG of RPF in May 2011. The Railways had made the appointment ignoring the seniority list prepared by the ministry of home affairs, according to the CBI. 

The CBI is probing the role of Gautam Sanyal, Mamata Banerjee's officer on special duty when she was railway minister. CBI sources say there is some evidence to establish the role of senior office bearers of RPF Officers' Association in the transfer and postings scam.

CBI is looking at the nexus between RPF Officers' Association and middlemen as the transfers, postings and promotions in the RPF were not based on merit, according to sources.

According to CBI sources, the current railway minister's nephew and the accused in the Rs10-crore bribery scam, Vijay Singla was also in regular touch with all senior railway officials for jobs and contracts.

Meanwhile, All India Railwaymen's Federation general secretary Shiva Gopal Mishra has alleged that senior posts in the Railways are being kept vacant for months, which lead to speculation that there is a lack of transparency.

"The Railway is not running on rules but on the whims of political bosses. This is a shocking case. It has never happened in the past. We have seen so many ministers but the case of integrity of minister and his staff are being questioned. Till the time the enquiry gets over the minister must not be in his office," said Mishra.