Monday, November 29, 1999

CBI arrests son of RRB chief,unearths Railway recruitment scam

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) The CBI today claimed to have unearthed a multi-crore Railway recruitment scam and arrested eight persons, including son of Chairman of Railway Recruitment Board, Mumbai, for allegedly leaking exam paper for money. "CBI has unearthed Railway recruitment scam by conducting simultaneous raids at Mumbai, Bangalore, Raipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad. This scam relates to the examinations of Assistant Loco Pilot and Assistant Station Master. It is estimated that the scam runs into several crores of rupees," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said here. Those arrested include Vivek Bhardwaj Sharma, son of S M Sharma, Chairman of Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), Mumbai, the then Additional Divisional Railway Manager(ADRM), Raipur A K Jagannatham, his son Srujan and a Raipur-based agent. "The then ADRM, Raipur in connivance with the officials of RRB, Mumbai could secure a copy of the question paper before the examination date and provided the same to several aspirants," the CBI spokesperson alleged. Each candidate had to pay to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh for getting selected, Bhal alleged, adding the aspirants were required to deposit their original certificates with Jagannathan. The question paper was provided to them one day prior to the examination and the certificates were returned after the payment of the complete amount, he said. Vivek, Jagannatham, Srujan and the agent were produced yesterday in the designated court in Hyderabad and were remanded to 14 days judicial custody. Other arrested were a employee of Health Department of Government of Andhra Pradesh and three Hyderabad-based agents. The CBI said that searches in Mumbai have led to detection of Rs 60 lakh in banks accounts of the family members of S M Sharma and the ganecy has seized bank pass books and laptops.Recently, Vivek had allegedly purchased a Pajero from the ill-gotten money in the name of a relative. "In Hyderabad, Rs 21.5 lakh in cash and original certificates of 444 aspirants were recovered from the residence of the then ADRM," Bhal said. He said Rs 12 lakh were recovered from the possession of Jagannatham at a Hotel in Bangalore, where he was staying, along with incriminating documents, such as question papers and original certificates of the aspirants. The CBI said several incriminating documents have been recovered from the searches at Kolkata, Hyderabad and Raipur. The RRBs across the country conduct examinations for induction of staff in Group C category of the Indian Railways. On June 6, examinations were held across the country for the induction of Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP) and on June 13 for Assistant Station Master(ASM). The CBI asked railway jobs aspirants to be vigilant, saying similar scams were being perpetrated by several gangs in different parts of the country in connivance with Railways officials.

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