Rail Neer scam: Three accused sent into 14-day judicial remand

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Special CBI judge Vinod Kumar has sent two senior railway officers and a businessman to a judicial custody for a fortnight, on 23 October.

The CBI has said, accused Sandeep Silas and MS Chalia had conspired with another accused Sharan Bihari Agrawal in a scam of serving cheap drinking water instead of Rail Neer in premium trains, resulting in a loss of Rs 6.25 crore to the exchequer.

In connection with the scam, Silas, a 1984-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service(IRTS) officer, and Chalia of 1987 batch officer were taken into custody last week, along with Agrawal, owner of RK Associates.

It said that searches were conducted during the probe in which approximately Rs 28 crore cash was recovered out of which around Rs four lakh was counterfeit.

Earlier, the accused were produced before the court after completion of five-day CBI custody.

Besides them, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged cases against seven private firms, RK Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food and Food World.

The two accused rail officials held the position of Chief Commercial Manager, had showed undue favour to these firms in supply of inferior packaged drinking water rather than Rail Neer, a compulsory component of premium trains.

The Railway Board had ordered IRCTC provide Rail Neer at Rs 10.50 per bottle to private caterers and that they be paid Rs 15 per bottle for supplying the same to passengers (in premium trains).

However, to take undue advantage, private suppliers were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water, other than Rail Neer, at the rate of Rs 5.70 to Rs 7 per bottle, thereby making a killing for themselves and loss to the exchequer.

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