CBI arrests ex-railway official for receiving bribe

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New Delhi, Jul 5 (PTI) The CBI arrested a former principal chief mechanical engineer of the railways on Monday for allegedly receiving Rs 50 lakh, a portion of the Rs 5.89 crore bribe money collected on his behalf by the director of a Chennai-based company for various tenders awarded during the last two years of his service, officials said.

AK Kathpal, a 1984-batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) officer, who was earlier posted at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai's Perambur, was taken into custody after he accepted the second installment of Rs 50 lakh from Hamsa Venugopalan, the director of Universal Engineers Chennai Private Limited who had collected bribes on his behalf while he was in service.

Soon after the arrest, the CBI carried out searches at nine locations, including the residence of Kathpal's brother Sanjay, from where cash amounting to Rs 2.75 crore was seized. The cash is believed to belong to the former principal chief engineer.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also recovered 23 kg (approximately) of gold during the searches spread across Delhi and Chennai on Monday.

Earlier, Sanjay Kathpal had accepted the first installment of Rs 50 lakh from the company on behalf of the accused, the officials said.

The CBI has alleged that while he was posted as the principal chief mechanical engineer in the ICF in Perambur (Tamil Nadu), AK Kathpal indulged in various activities in collusion with Venugopalan and unidentified persons in the award and execution of tenders.

'It was further alleged that the accused, during the period from February 2019 to March 31, 2021 (the date of his retirement), had collected bribes from the director of a private firm and others,' CBI Spokesperson RC Joshi said.

The agency alleged that Venugopalan was aiding Kathpal as a conduit for collecting bribes on his behalf and also as a custodian for keeping the alleged illegal gratification of Rs 5.89 crore received on his behalf.

'It was also alleged that on the demand of the said public servant, the private person (the director of a private firm) arranged to deliver a sum of Rs 50 lakh as the first installment of the total bribe kept in her custody through another private person of a company based at Chennai and her working partner at Delhi to the brother of the said public servant in Delhi,' Joshi said.

He said Kathpal was caught along with four others for allegedly accepting Rs 50 lakh as the second installment of the bribe amount. PTI ABS RC

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