Rail-gate: CBI suspects raid information was leaked, orders probe, say sources

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Rail-gate: CBI suspects raid information was leaked, orders probe, say sources
New Delhi:  The Central Bureau of Investigation that is probing the Railways bribery scandal has reportedly ordered an internal inquiry to find out if someone from within the agency alerted senior Railways official Mahesh Kumar's family ahead of a raid at his place, sources have said.

Mr Kumar was arrested last week for allegedly bribing Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla to secure a plum posting in the Railways. He was nabbed at the Mumbai airport after a dramatic chase. (How the CBI caught the man accused of bribing Rail Minister's nephew)

A former General Manager at the Western Railways, Mr Kumar recently joined the powerful Railway Board in Delhi as a Member (Staff), but he reportedly wanted the "more lucrative" post of Member (Electrical).

He was arrested on May 3, hours after the CBI arrested the Rail Minister's nephew and businessman Vijay Singla with the alleged bribe money of Rs. 90 lakh from Chandigarh.

On that Friday night, CBI sources say they traced Mr Kumar's phone signal to Mahipalpur in Delhi and concluded that he was on his way to the airport to fly to Mumbai where he had lived before moving to Delhi.

The CBI team in Delhi immediately alerted their counterparts in Mumbai. Fearing that Mahesh would escape if he saw the news about Mr Singla's arrest on TV, the CBI refused to confirm it for long. But the agency's best efforts could not prevent some channels from airing the few details they had.

By the time the CBI team arrested Mr Kumar at the Mumbai airport and reached his home, his wife had managed to remove crucial and incriminating documents from her house. They were however recovered two days later.

While the some in the CBI believe Mr Kumar's wife got alerted after she saw media reports about the alleged scam on television, other suspect she was tipped off by someone from within the agency. Sources say an internal inquiry will now find out if anyone from the CBI helped her. For this, phone call records of all CBI officers involved in the interrogation will be studied, sources add.


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