New Delhi:  Amid demands for his resignation over his nephew's arrest on bribery charge, Railway Minister P K Bansal on Saturday presented his case before the top Congress leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi.
    
Bansal was a special invitee to the meeting of the Congress Core Group, hours after party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi dismissed the Opposition's demand for the Railway Minister's resignation. The minister had earlier met the Prime Minister. Besides Gandhi and Singh, senior leaders Ahmad Patel, A K Antony, Sushilkumar Shinde and P Chidambaram are members of the Congress Core Group.

READ MORE: Congress rules out Bansal’s resignation

Bansal's nephew V Singla was on Friday arrested by CBI, which also held a Member of the Railway Board in connection with alleged bribery of Rs 90 lakh for fixing a top-level position in the government. Another accused, Mahesh Kumar who is a Member (Staff) Railway Board, was arrested in Mumbai by a CBI team soon after he had flown in from Delhi. CBI has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC against him.
    
Earlier in the day, Congress brushed aside Opposition demands for Bansal's resignation, saying it has become a "disease" of the Opposition to make such demands. "For those who are demanding resignation, it has become a disease," Congress General Secretary and head of media department, Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.

Dwivedi said Bansal has himself given a clarification demanding probe in the wake of the arrest of his nephew for allegedly fixing top level promotions in the Railway Board.

BJP has demanded the sacking of the Railway Minister and CBI prosecution against him. Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that seeking pecuniary advantage by someone close to the Railway Minister and abusing the authority of the minister is a "copybook case" of prosecution.  CPI(M) has also demanded his resignation.

Bansal, however, has distanced himself from his nephew, saying he had no business links with him and denied any wrongdoing.

Bansal’s nephew, 3 others sent to CBI custody

Meanwhile, Vijay Singla, nephew of Railway Minister, and three others were sent in CBI custody for four days by a Delhi court which said it was necessary to find out the "actual beneficiaries" and other conspirators who were involved in the bribery case.

Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma allowed the agency to interrogate Singla and three other persons Sandip Goyal, Dharmendra Kumar and Vivek Kumar till May 7. "I am of the view that only four accused have been arrested as yet whereas there are eight accused persons named in the FIR, two of whom have been arrested but are yet to be brought to Delhi.

"Considering the nature of the crime, I am of the opinion that custodial interrogation is essential to not only find out the source of the bribe amount but also the fact as to who are the actual beneficiaries and other conspirators other than those named in the FIR, if any."I, therefore, grant police custody remand for four days," the judge said.

JPN/Agencies

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Bribery case: Bansal meets Sonia, PM amid demands of his resignation

 

Bribery case: Bansal meets Sonia, PM

 

New Delhi:  Amid demands for his resignation over his nephew's arrest on bribery charge, Railway Minister P K Bansal on Saturday presented his case before the top Congress leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi.

         

Bansal was a special invitee to the meeting of the Congress Core Group, hours after party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi dismissed the Opposition's demand for the Railway Minister's resignation. The minister had earlier met the Prime Minister. Besides Gandhi and Singh, senior leaders Ahmad Patel, A K Antony, Sushilkumar Shinde and P Chidambaram are members of the Congress Core Group.

 

Bansal's nephew V Singla was on Friday arrested by CBI, which also held a Member of the Railway Board in connection with alleged bribery of Rs 90 lakh for fixing a top-level position in the government. Another accused, Mahesh Kumar who is a Member (Staff) Railway Board, was arrested in Mumbai by a CBI team soon after he had flown in from Delhi. CBI has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC against him.

         

Earlier in the day, Congress brushed aside Opposition demands for Bansal's resignation, saying it has become a "disease" of the Opposition to make such demands. "For those who are demanding resignation, it has become a disease," Congress General Secretary and head of media department, Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.


Dwivedi said Bansal has himself given a clarification demanding probe in the wake of the arrest of his nephew for allegedly fixing top level promotions in the Railway Board.

 

BJP has demanded the sacking of the Railway Minister and CBI prosecution against him. Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that seeking pecuniary advantage by someone close to the Railway Minister and abusing the authority of the minister is a "copybook case" of prosecution.  CPI(M) has also demanded his resignation.

 

Bansal, however, has distanced himself from his nephew, saying he had no business links with him and denied any wrongdoing.

 

Bansal’s nephew, 3 others sent to CBI custody

Meanwhile, Vijay Singla, nephew of Railway Minister, and three others were sent in CBI custody for four days by a Delhi court which said it was necessary to find out the "actual beneficiaries" and other conspirators who were involved in the bribery case.

Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma allowed the agency to interrogate Singla and three other persons Sandip Goyal, Dharmendra Kumar and Vivek Kumar till May 7. "I am of the view that only four accused have been arrested as yet whereas there are eight accused persons named in the FIR, two of whom have been arrested but are yet to be brought to Delhi.

"Considering the nature of the crime, I am of the opinion that custodial interrogation is essential to not only find out the source of the bribe amount but also the fact as to who are the actual beneficiaries and other conspirators other than those named in the FIR, if any."I, therefore, grant police custody remand for four days," the judge said.