Millennium Post

Judge questions CBI’s clean chit to Bansal

Amidst reports of sacked railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name figuring in CBI transcripts of note-for-post scam, the judge handling the case said on Thursday that she may ask for his (Bansal) role to be examined during the trial.

CBI special judge Swarna Kanta Sharma on Thursday told the CBI in her written order, ‘The high and mighty should not escape the law,’ adding that, ‘The culture of sifarish (lobbying for recommendations) and right contacts will not do,’

The CBI, which is investigating an alleged deal of Rs 10 crores to help member (staff) Mahesh Kumar get a coveted post on the Railways Board, has said that there is no evidence to prove Bansal’s involvement, though it was his nephew Vijay Singhla who was caught accepting a Rs 90-lakh kickback, reportedly the first installment of a larger payment.
Vijay Singla was arrested along with Mahesh Kumar. The CBI said the deal was finalised at the minister’s official residence in Delhi.

Earlier this month, the CBI said that Bansal will serve as prosecution witness. The judge in her order said, ‘If the CBI has chosen to make Bansal a witness, then at this juncture, there being no evidence against him, the court cannot pass any order or question him, except during the trial.’

Pawan Bansal has given a 12-page statement to the CBI and also gone through phone transcripts of conversations between key players. Bansal has denied any knowledge of his nephew’s deals. ‘After the CBI interrogated me for seven hours and could not find anything,’ Bansal said on Friday.
The CBI, meanwhile, maintained that their investigation was free and fair.
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