The CBI has seized an additional Rs 2.04 crore hidden in a private hotel in South Delhi by the executives of ABCI Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, accused in a bribery case involving senior officials of Northeast Frontier Railways, officials said Tuesday. In its biggest trap case, the agency had arrested Chief Administrative Officer Mahender Singh Chauhan of NFR on Sunday and other senior officials in the case involving a bribe of Rs one crore, they said.
So far, Rs 4.43 crore (approx) have been recovered, the CBI said. "It was found during further searches at the premises of a private firm (allegedly involved in the said case) located at Kailash Colony, New Delhi that certain items were removed and concealed at another place in Delhi.
"After a thorough search, Rs. 2.04 crore (approx.) cash along with other items were seized from the said place for further investigation," CBI Spokesperson RC Joshi said in a statement. During earlier searches at 26 locations, including Delhi, Uttrakhand, Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, a total amount of Rs. 2.39 crore (approx) was recovered, he said.
"This includes an alleged bribe of Rs. one crore, which exchanged hands and is stated to be one of the biggest bribe money trapped. "Besides this, jewellery and property documents were recovered from the locations of the accused. Thus, so far, Rs. 4.43 crore (approx.) have been recovered," the statement said.
The case pertains to Rs one crore allegedly sought by 58-year old Chauhan to extend favours to ABCI Infrastructure in awarding the contracts, processing of subsequent bills, release of payments etc. by the public functionaries. The director of the accused company, Pawan Baid, had allegedly sent the bribe money to one of his employees Bhupendra Rawat in Delhi through a hawala racket. It was allegedly taken by Rawat to Dehradun where Chauhan's brother-in-law Indra Singh received it.
The agency had nabbed Rawat and Singh while bribe was being exchanged, they said. The CBI has alleged that the accused railway officials were regularly getting huge payouts for favouring the company.
"It was also alleged that some senior public functionaries of North East Frontier Railways were involved in corrupt practices with private contractors for the ongoing projects in the North East Frontier Railways," Joshi said in a statement. Baid was in contact with Chauhan in connection with various ongoing projects in the Northeast Frontier region.
The agency has arrested Chauhan, Singh, Deputy Chief Engineer Hem Chand Borah, Assistant Executive Engineer Laxmi Kant Verma and Rawat. The agency will bring all the arrested accused to Delhi for questioning, Joshi said.
Besides the arrested accused, the CBI has also booked the company and its director Baid in the case under the IPC section related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act pertaining to bribery.