New Delhi: Former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was summoned as a witness in the Rs 10 crore cash-for-post railway bribery case, today sought exemption from personal appearance on health grounds before a special court.
Bansal's lawyer Puneet Ahluwalia moved an application before Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma saying that the Congress leader is suffering from viral fever and would appear before the court on the next date.
“He (Bansal) is suffering from viral fever. He will appear whenever the court directs him to come,” he said.
The court, however, said that it would hear the application at 11.30 AM, as it will record statement of one other CBI witness, who has appeared before it.
Bansal, who resigned as Railway Minister after the case came to light, was named as a prosecution witness in the case in which his nephew Vijay Singla is one of the accused along with suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar and others.
The court had commenced the trial in the case yesterday. CBI court had sent the summons to Bansal to appear before it today for recording of his statement as a prosecution witness.
The court had yesterday recorded statements of Vinay Mittal, the then Railway Board chairman and senior Railway ministry official Jagmohan Rawat, who had given sanction to prosecute accused Mahesh Kumar.
CBI had charge sheeted 10 accused, including Vijay Singla and Mahesh Kumar, in the case last year.
Paving the way for the trial, the court had on March 11 this year framed charges against all the accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC read with provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had framed charges against Singla, then Member (Staff) of Railway Board Mahesh Kumar, Managing Director of Bangalore-based G G Tronics India Pvt Limited N R Manjunath, alleged middlemen Ajay Garg and Sandeep Goyal and co-accused Rahul Yadav, Sameer Sandhir, Sushil Daga, C V Venugopal and M V Murali Krishan.
The court, while framing charges against the accused, had observed that they had prima facie entered into a criminal conspiracy to get Mahesh Kumar appointed as Member(Electrical) in the Railway Board and for that Singla was to be paid Rs 10 crore as illegal gratification.
While framing charges against the accused, the court had also observed that as per the records placed before it, Rs two crore was to be paid immediately and Kumar had instructed Manjunath to arrange bribe amount of Rs two crore through other co-accused.
The probe agency had alleged that Singla had demanded Rs 10 crore from Kumar for his appointment to the post of Member (Electrical) and it was decided between the accused that Rs 5 crore will be paid before the appointment and the rest after the job was done.
It had claimed first tranche of around Rs 90 lakh was given to Singla who was apprehended while accepting the money.