In yet another huge embarrassment for the ruling UPA government, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew on allegations of bribery.
Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla was arrested for taking a bribe amounting to ₹90 lakh from a senior railway offficial, Mahesh Kumar, who sought a comfortable post.
Kumar, who held a position as general manager in Western railways, Mumbai, was recently appointed as member of the top governing board of the Railways.
Kumar was eyeing an electrical portfolio in the board which "would have given him the power to influence advanced signalling and telecom contracts worth ₹2,300 crore," a CBI official told PTI.
The deal was struck at ₹2 crore and Singal, Bansal's nephew, was transferred ₹90 lakh as an installment.
Singal was caught while accepting the amount from a person named Manjunath, who acted as a middleman in the deal, on Friday evening in Chandigarh.
CBI detained Kumar at the Mumbai airport while he was returning from Delhi. Manjunath was also arrested.
"Mahesh Kumar, a railway official, and three others identified as Vijay Singla, Sandeep Goel and Manjunath were booked for bribery. Mahesh Kumar had given Rs 90 lakh to the three to ensure his promotion. The money has been seized," confirmed a CBI official.
Singal is said to be in the construction business with operations in Delhi Chandigarh, Derabassi Mandi and Gobindgarh.
After Singal's arrest, attempts were made to raid his house, but his family refused to allow the CBI into house citing violation of privacy.
A day after the arrest, Bansal released a statement on Saturday saying that he, "had no knowledge or clue about the matter at all" and sought a CBI enquiry into the matter.
"I neither have any business relations with my nephew nor have done any financial transactions with him," he added.