Corrupt Railway Minister Pawan Bansal forced to Resign!!

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by rock127, May 10, 2013.

  1. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Corrupt Railway Minister Pawan Bansal forced to Resign!!

    Both Mr Bansal and Mr Kumar are from Punjab and are seen as close to Dr Manmohan Singh but many in the Congress believed both should be out of the government as the accusations that they face were hurting the party and the PM.

    New Delhi: Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the first Congressman to hold the key portfolio in 17 years, has resigned. The name of Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost the race to become Karnataka's chief minister minister today, is doing the rounds as Mr Bansal's replacement.

    "Pawan Bansal has resigned but he has not been implicated or chargesheeted," said Congress leader Sanjay Jha.There has been much pressure on Mr Bansal, who only took over in October last year, to quit after his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribe to organise a plum posting for a senior official in the Railways, which his uncle heads.Congress president Sonia Gandhi met the Prime Minister this evening even as the party said it would not "spare anybody mired in corruption," the clearest indication yet that Mr Bansal's exit was imminent and might happen even before a Congress core group meeting to be held tomorrow.

    CBI sources have said that the agency will soon interrogate Mr Bansal to follow up on allegations of his involvement in the bribery case. The sources said the agency is acting on "grave suspicions." (Read)

    Mr Bansal's name has allegedly been mentioned in several of over a 1000 phone calls that the CBI has tracked over the last few months in its investigation of alleged bribery and corruption in the Railways. The CBI also alleges that the man who sought to bribe Mr Bansal's nephew for a transfer, Mahesh Kumar, has said during interrogation that he negotiated the alleged deal with Mr Singla at several meetings held at the Railway Minister's official residence in Delhi.Mahesh Kumar has also reportedly alleged that Mr Bansal's nephew often used the rooms of his uncle's senior aides at the Railway Ministry office. The CBI has reportedly already questioned Mr Bansal's personal secretary on why Mr Singla was allowed to use government office space.

    Mr Bansal had reportedly offered to resign a few days ago, but top Congress leaders had decided to wait until after investigations in the case were over. The new allegations had, however, made it untenable for the minister to continue.Congress president Sonia Gandhi was reportedly not in favour of Mr Bansal or Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who is caught in another controversy, continuing and is said to be clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's image must be protected at all cost.
     
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  3. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Railgate: Singla put up for sale at least 8 top posts, used Bansal’s official phones

    NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: The CBI is set to summon Pawan Bansal, who was sacked as railway minister on Friday evening, in the 'jobs-for-sale' scandal even as investigations have shown that at least eight plum posts in various departments, including India's biggest rail coach factory in Punjab's Kapurthala district and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, had been negotiated by Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and Sandeep Goyal.

    A preliminary CBI report said Singla and Goyal had allegedly secured the appointment of Narottam Das as chief electrical engineer (CEE) at Kapurthala Rail Coach factory. Das, who was CEE at North Western Railway, was transferred to RCF on December 17, 2012.

    This was preceded by 16 phone calls between Singla and Das and four between Bansal's private secretary Rahul Bhandari and Das on December 4 and December 11 respectively, sources said.

    Sources also said one Dayal Arya was picked as the head of material management functions at Chittaranjan Loco Works.

    CBI sources on Friday said they will send a notice under Section 160 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) to Bansal very soon, to ask him about his links to Goyal, Singla and Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar. The agency swept down on the suspects in Punjab, Delhi and Mumbai when a bribe of Rs 90 lakh, which they now suspect was arranged through hawala route, was being delivered in Chandigarh on May 3.

    Agency sources confirmed that they have initiated an internal enquiry to find out if an insider had tipped off Kumar's wife on May 2 about the impending CBI raid. When CBI officers reached Kumar's residence in Mumbai, his wife had already moved jewellery and other articles to the residence of a Railway Protection Force officer. The agency has sent explanatory notices to some of its officers, sources said.

    Meanwhile, CBI sources said over 1,000 phone calls were intercepted during the two-month long surveillance on Kumar, Singla and others. Sources said these calls were between four key players in the scandal -- Kumar, Singla and middlemen Manjunath and Sandeep Goyal. Many of these calls were to the official phones installed at Bansal's residence. Singla's location during the surveillance showed that he was frequently present at the railway minister's residence and Rail Bhawan.

    These factors, and meetings between Bansal and Mahesh Kumar, are likely to figure during the Chandigarh MP's examination by CBI. The meeting between Bansal and Kumar took place on the sidelines of a function in Mumbai where Kumar was felicitated by the minister. Within a fortnight of this meeting in which two more persons may have been present, Kumar assumed charge of member (staff) in Railway Board.

    The preliminary CBI report said the deal for posting Kumar as member (electrical) was finalised on April 15 between Singla and Kumar. On April 15, Singla spoke to Kumar at least five times from Bansal's official residence in Delhi, the CBI report said. The next day, Bansal flew to Mumbai to honour Kumar at the 58th Central Railway Week function.

    "While Bansal stayed on in Mumbai for another day, Kumar met him twice on April 17 after Singla called him early morning and asked him to meet the minister to request him to elevate him to member (electrical) in the Railway Board," sources said.

    The report also mentioned a 90-minute meeting between Singla, Rahul Bhandari, Narayan Rao Manjunath, the managing director of Bangalore-based GG Tronics India Private Limited and Goyal, who owns a Panchkula-based company manufacturing electrical equipment for the railways.

    The agency also said Singla rarely used e-mails to communicate with Kumar while there was a possible use of fax system to avoid any traces.

    The call details

    April 7: 5 Calls between Singla and Mahesh (23782811)

    April 15: 2 Calls between Singla and Mahesh (23782811/23782812)

    April 17: 4 calls Sandeep Goyal and Mahesh Kumar (23782811/23782812)

    May 1: 2 calls Sandeep Goyal and Mahesh Kumar (23782811/23782812)

    (All Delhi landline numbers are allotted to the railway minister's official residence)


    What happened when

    April 7: Meeting at between Manjunath, Mahesh Kumar, Vijay Singla and Rahul Bhandari at Bansal's official residence on 6, Ashoka Road

    April 15: Singla calls Kumar again

    April 16: Bansal flies to Mumbai; Mahesh meets Bansal; later Bansal attends 58th Central Railway Week where he honours Kumar

    April 17: Kumar meets Bansal again, requests elevation of post to member (mechanical)
     
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Bansal to me is clearly a victim of internal Congress machinations.
     
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  5. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Mamu to gaya and ashwani kumar also sacked....The way news came in with "Sonia's unhappiness" amuses me how media dubbing gandhi family as clean and making PM as a scapegoat here as usual.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Bnasal cooked his chips when the GM Western Railway wrote to the CBI of people asking him for money to be elevated.

    CBI, totally shamed by the shenanigans indicating that they were puppets by the media hype, got its act going to take 'revenge'.

    Mamu suffered.

    Railgate is on the roll, Coalgate, CWG, Singlu report, Anti Sikh riots where the CBI has gone into appeal, 2G and the endless scams are going to be the downfall and undoing of this Govt since the CBI is wild at being humiliated by the Supreme Court.

    Yet, it was a great move by Congress to sack two 'tainted' Ministers and it has salvaged much of their lost sheen.

    The Opposition is still baying for blood.

    The wolves are at the PM's door and to the tunnel beyond!

    India is in a bad shape!
     
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  7. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    How sacking from a position can salvage your sheen ??
     
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  8. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    As per following report, it seems -

    a) Bansal was collateral damage/accidental victim in CBI Dir Ranjit Sinha's drive to trap Mahesh Kumar by taping his phone conversations unauthorisedly. Mahesh Kumar had earlier sent Sinha on punishment postings. During which Bansal and his nephews were caught with their hands in the cookie jar !

    b) Ranjit Sinha had in his Bihar days had given a clean chit to Lalu Prasad Yadav in `chara ghotala` so he has experience in doctoring CBI reports !

    c) The leak on doctored CBI report was by a highly placed Congressi from Punjab who was earlier slated to get Law Ministry but did not get it. Ranjit Sinha became an accidental hero in the matter !

    Collateral Clean-Up

    As the Indian Government seeks to deal with the strongest indictment of the political executive by the Judiciary in the country’s history, and India’s Prime Minister struggles to hold on to office, the sequence of events that led to this controversy can be traced back to internal rivalries between senior ministers of this government and a CBI Director whose very pliability led him to first collude with the Government and then come clean in a bid to save his skin.

    The leak—to the media—that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and others vetted the CBI status report on coal allocations and kept the apex court in the dark did not originate from the CBI.A member of the Union Council of Ministers confirms to Open that the leak originated from within the Government. According to him, there is a strong ‘Punjab group’ in the Council of Ministers, chiefly lawyers who are articulate in English and love to hate one another. One such senior member of the Cabinet—who was in the reckoning for the post of India’s Law Minister and is perhaps still hopeful that he will get this coveted ministry if the Government survives this crisis and Ashwani Kumar is shown the door—informed a newspaper journalist that a sealed CBI report on the role of the Government in the allocation of coal blocks from 2006 to 2009, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held the coal portfolio, was modified secretly by Ashwani Kumar.(who too is a member of the Punjab group) to suit the Prime Minister.

    The reporter visited the Law Ministry to check the claim’s veracity. A highly placed official in the Ministry briefed him and confirmed that the tip-off was genuine. Another journalist of the same newspaper paid a visit to Ranjit Sinha, a 1975 batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre who took over as Director of the CBI in December last year, to reconfirm the information. Sinha immediately sensed the seriousness of the matter.

    For Sinha, the leak was a larger concern than the tampering of the CBI report. The agency’s investigation is being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court, and even Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati had stated in court that he had not seen the report. In fact, the CBI assured the apex court that the political executive did not have access to it. But that was not the version that would appear in Indian newspapers the next day.

    Sinha rushed to his immediate boss, Minister of State in the Department of Personnel, V Narayanasamy (the PM is also in charge of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, which has administrative control over the CBI), to inform him of the development and take him into confidence, according to a senior functionary of the CBI who witnessed the drama. There were two options available to Ranjit Sinha: keep quiet and risk becoming a scapegoat or turn the tables by stating the truth.

    Thus it was that the CBI Director filed an affidavit that the agency’s report on Coalgate was vetted and changed by Ashwini Kumar and joint secretary level officers of the PMO and Coal Ministry, Shatrughna Singh and AK Bhalla, respectively. The CBI even provided details in the affidavit of portions of the report that were changed after a series of meetings attended by Kumar and Vahanvati and held between February and early March this year.

    The Director was not only trying to save his neck, he had reason to be annoyed by Ashwani Kumar whose arrogance and zest for copy-editing had already annoyed several government officials. According to some CBI officials, the Law Minister’s conduct at a meeting held on 6 March bordered on the rude. He looked at the report in the presence of Vahanvati and Sinha and reprimanded Sinha for its poor drafting. “Aap ko English nahin aati kya?” he reportedly asked, and started editing the hard copy of the report using a pencil. The Minister had his own staff make changes in the text right there, say CBI insiders, and then his office forwarded the revised draft directly to the PMO for a second round of vetting.

    The interest shown by the Minister and the PMO was a direct result of the stakes involved. CBI sources reveal the people who are likely to find adverse mention in the report include Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and former Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, apart from Congress MPs Naveen Jindal and Vijay Darda. The role of the PMO is also likely to come under scrutiny.

    +++

    That became clear at the Congress’ ‘war room’ meeting at 15 Gurdwara Rakabganj Road that took place soon after the matter became public. It was attended by such members of the Punjab gang as Kapil Sibal, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Manish Tewari. According to one of the participants in the meeting, Ashwani Kumar was given two options: make a statement in Parliament and come clean on the issue, which could then become the basis of the party’s defence, or simply tender his resignation. The war group meeting concluded that Ashwani Kumar had to go since he was refusing to make a statement in Parliament. “You have become collateral damage to the Prime Minister,” he was told by a senior congress functionary, as an argument ensued. “I have become collateral damage due to the PM,” Ashwani Kumar is said to have retorted. But it turned out he didn’t have to quit because the PM and his men supported him; the PM had put his foot down, according to a member of the Council of Ministers. The PM was of the view that if any action was taken against Ashwani Kumar, it would amount to acknowledging guilt in the Coalgate scandal and that would put the PMO in the direct line of fire. This failure of the PM to act at a time when instant action could have warded off damaging Supreme Court observations is what is currently haunting the Government.

    Sinha’s desperation to save his own job, it seems, led him to contradict the Minister’s initial response that he had only made some ‘grammatical corrections’ in the status report. The Court affidavit filed by Sinha suggests that the Minister had more than mere grammatical changes. He deleted a sentence on the legality of the allocation of coal blocks while a legal amendment of the allotment process was in the works. It was clearly done to limit the scope of the CBI probe, as one of the main allegations against the Government was that it went on allotting coal blocks despite its awareness of an impending proposal to auction them. It was an obvious bid to insulate the PM, who was in charge of coal, from the heat of Coalgate.

    While exposing the role of the Law Minister, Sinha also qualified his affidavit by stating that the CBI allowed no substantive changes in its report; he said that no accused individual or suspect had been let off and the findings of the report had not been tampered with.

    +++

    That was in keeping with Sinha’s previous record in service, and it was by no means the first time he had attracted such attention. In the late 1990s, as DIG in the CBI, he had investigated the fodder scam in which former Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav was one of the accused. The Patna High Court had passed similar strictures against the CBI for presenting a watered down version of its report on that scandal. Sinha’s senior officer UN Biswas, joint director (East) of the CBI, told the Patna High Court division bench on 3 October 1996 that the report submitted by Sinha was doctored. He alleged that the report had diluted the charges against the accused. Biswas is said to have apprised the court that the original report prepared by him had facts that could clearly pin guilt.

    That episode is what led activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan to question Sinha’s appointment as CBI Director. They argued that Sinha’s moral integrity had been questioned in the past when he was reprimanded by the Patna high court for favouring the then Chief Minister Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case.

    In July 2001, the then leader of opposition and now Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, urged the then governor Vinod Chandra Pande to direct the state government to sack ‘tainted officers’ such as Ranjit Sinha and AB Prasad. They were both posted in Delhi at the time. The Bihar government created a new post of ‘officer on special duty’ to accommodate Sinha at Bihar Bhavan after the expiry of his term in the CBI and gave him the special task of “influencing the outcome of the fodder scam investigation” in favour of Lalu, as Sushil Kumar Modi had alleged at a press conference back then.

    Sinha’s appointment as CBI chief was later supported by both Nitish Kumar—who is now Sushil Kumar Modi’s boss in the Bihar government—and Lalu Prasad Yadav. But Sinha’s appointment to the post finally came through only thanks to a tussle between the Congress party and its Government. There were three names in the reckoning for the post: Neeraj Kumar, currently Delhi Police Commissioner, SC Sinha, director general of the National Investigation Agency, and Ranjit Sinha. While the PM’s supporters were keen on Neeraj Kumar, Ranjit Sinha had the backing of the party—which suggests he was the candidate favoured by 10 Janpath.

    But Sinha’s past history of political closeness to people who could help him in his career and his willingness to act in their interest also had its flip side. It angered politicians who were opposed to his patrons. It was Lalu as Union Railway Minister who ensured that he took over as Director General of the Rail Protection Force (RPF), even holding the post vacant for three months till Sinha was ready for it. (It is Sinha’s tenure in this paramilitary force that later strengthened his case for taking over the Indo-Tibetan Border Police—and then the CBI.) But when Lalu left the Ministry and Mamata Banerjee took over, her team treated Sinha with suspicion because she distrusted Lalu’s appointees. It was Mahesh Kumar, a railway official who was close to Banerjee, who was instrumental in Sinha’s unceremonious exit as RPF chief. Banerjee even wrote a letter to the PM asking for his ouster.

    +++

    It is considered a common truth in political and bureaucratic circles that it was the above mentioned bitterness that made Sinha place Mahesh Kumar’s activities under the watch of his sleuths once he assumed charge of the CBI as its chief. Sinha even had Kumar’s phone under surveillance, according to a report by Malayala Manorama.

    Mahesh Kumar reportedly wanted Vijay Singla’s help to switch from being a Railway Board member in charge of ‘staff’ to one overseeing ‘electrical’ matters. Contracts worth thousands of crores are given out each year by this department of the Railways. When the controversy over the editing of the Coalgate status report broke out, the raid that led to the arrest of Mahesh Kumar was also one way for Sinha to pitch the fact that he was indeed acting independently as CBI Director.

    But this investigation took an unexpected turn and caused a major embarrassment to the Government once Bansal’s involvement hit headlines. Interestingly, this time Sinha did not brief the Government on this expose, says a junior colleague of his in the CBI. “He is a typical cop who means business and has a sharp mind. He is not going to budge under pressure and has strong survival instincts. He is not going to give in easily,” he says.

    Sinha’s problem is that he may have left himself no way out. By seeking to please the Government and agreeing to amendments in the CBI status report, he has come in for harsh criticism from the SC, and by failing to keep the Government in the loop on the Bansal case, he has angered the very people who ensured his appointment. But he has a fixed two-year tenure and unless the SC asks him to go, he could well outlive this government.
     
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  9. Coalmine

    Coalmine Regular Member

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    This incident is really comic.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Open Magazine has stated that CBI Director was ousted as the Chief of RPF by Mahesh Kumar, who is the chap who gave the bribe.

    Could Sinha, the CBI Director, be extracting his pound of flesh?

    die Rache?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  11. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is this reality or consiparcy conspiracy theory
     
  12. Ankit Purohit

    Ankit Purohit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Now We have to face new question in Exam

    Who is the current Railway min of india ,

    kitna change karte hai ye log :rofl:
     
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  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Bring back Lalloo Pershad.

    He will laugh his way through every type of corruption and laugh his way to the bak.

    This time he will eat locos and rakes instead of fodder!

    Sinha is always there to cover this back as he did before!
     
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  14. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Apart from details of lots of palace intrigue in the article with Ranjit Sinha the reality is -

    Ashwani Kumar altered CBI Report on Coal mine allocation to remove mention of Manmohan Singh who was the Coal Minister who allocated 140 mining licenses without due diligence. This was leaked by someone in Congress party. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, to save his own skin filed affidavit in SC saying the report had been altered. Ashwani Kumar was sacrificed to save the Prime Minister.

    In any normal democracy Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should have been asked to step down long ago, perhaps been put behind bars. As PM and holding Coal Minister's portfolio MMS gave away 140 coal mining leases in a span of 1-2 years without due diligence to all and sundry such as pan-gutkha manufacturers and banian manufacturers several times more than in the past 10-15 years. The coal mining leases for private parties were deviced by GOI in early 90's to fast track infrastructure development in case private parties wanted to generate their own captive using coal. As we know coal mining has been since the early 70's under the public sector Coal India Ltd when Indira Gandhi nationalised all coal mines. Perhaps these gutkha manufacturers, banian manufacturers, etc paid money to Congress party bosses - who knows. Still Manmohan Singh is a man of impeccable integrity.
     
  15. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    At least the corrupt Chinese railway minister built HSR.

    Sent from my HUAWEI T8951 using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. arkem8

    arkem8 Regular Member

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    Yes! Yes! because soopar-fast-China-bullet-train-system real "safe" and might not make profit/break-even for our lifetime, still China beat them Nipponese and Gooks at own game.


    Wow!!
     
  17. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Arun Jaitley speaks on Coalgate in Devil's advocate

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Jobs fixed to rig freight scam probe

    NEW DELHI: Besides eight high profile jobs that Pawan Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and gang sold off for a fee, several other key appointments in the senior levels of railways in recent months have come under the scanner. Among them is a failed bid by manipulating transfers and postings to subvert the investigation into the evasion of thousands of crores in freight charges by iron ore exporters.

    The rot in postings is so deep that railway sources said at least two of the recent executive director-level postings may have been done without mandatory vigilance clearance.

    One of the starkest cases was the posting of an officer who is under probe by both railway vigilance and the CBI. The officer was posted as an executive director a few months ago without vigilance clearance. A senior source said the vigilance file for the particular officer was actually missing from the railway board records.

    The officer was with the Research Design Standard Organization (RDSO) when a major corruption scandal regarding issuance of licence to vendors was detected. The railway vigilance questioned the officer and later the case was handed over to the CBI, which is investigating how select vendors were getting licence to supply to railways.

    The appointment of the other executive director, who has a key role in procurement of over Rs 10,000 crore a year, was done violating several norms and just two weeks before the railway board member responsible for the appointment retired. According to railway sources, the particular board member who ordered these appointments was known to be a close confidante of Rahul Bhandari, Bansal's private secretary who is emerging as a key link in the 'jobs-for-sale' scandal.

    In recent months, there has also been an effort by same key officials to scuttle investigations into the scam perpetrated by iron ore exporters, who fraudulently claimed subsidized tariff meant for domestic consumption. Here too, it was transfers and postings that were used to derail the probe.

    Sources said a member of the railway board orchestrated the transfer of a couple of key officials handling the investigations into the freight scam, which has turned out to be the biggest financial fraud to hit the railways in many years. By claiming Rs 300 to Rs 400 per tonne freight charge meant for domestic users, instead of the Rs 2,000 per tonne meant for exports, iron ore exporters are now suspected to have cheated railways of thousand of crores in revenue.

    A railway vigilance team is assisting the CBI and other agencies in investigating the freight fraud, and CAG is also auditing the matter in various zones of the railways.

    Jobs fixed to rig freight scam probe - The Times of India

    *******************************************

    If only this rampant thieving was not par for the course for the railways, maybe then the railways could be a real profitable concern, stashing the national exchequer with much required funds.

    Then there would be a better tax regime as well as no requirement to raise the railway fares pretending that the railways are in the red.

    This is also possibly the reason that all want to get the Railways as one of the Cabinet berth whenever there is a Coalition Govt!

    It is a Mint!
     

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