CBI widens 'railgate' probe to cover previous ministers

Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha said on Monday that the agency was studying 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 as railway minister, the CBI is reportedly 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 Banerjee.

The railways on Monday handed over files related to transfers and postings in the last four years to the CBI.

Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla has already been arrested by the CBI, as has railway board member Mahesh Kumar, who allegedly offered the bribe for a more lucrative posting, along with several others.

The CBI is also studying appointments made in the Railway Protection Force amid allegations of rampant corruption in postings in RPF, according to an Economic Times report.

Ranjit Sinha, now CBI director, was the director-general of the RPF before he was shunted out in 2011 by Mamata Banerjee, after he refused to provide RPF security for the minister.

Sinha meanwhile denied reports that the CBI questioned had two senior railways officials on Monday. "We have not questioned any railways official yet. We are still scrutinising these files," he said. "There is also no decision yet on the questioning of former railways minister," said Sinha.

The agency, however, has sent questionnaires to railway board officials, including its chairman.