Recruitment board’s Mumbai chief in CBI net


Prime VIP
Railway Paper leak

New Delhi/ Hyderabad, June 23

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested suspended Railway Recruitment Board chairman (Mumbai) SM Sharma and senior divisional personnel officer G Sethi for their suspected involvement in a railway recruitment scam.

The CBI had earlier arrested eight persons, including a son of SM Sharma, but could not nab him because the law bars an investigating agency from initiating any legal action against an officer of or above the rank of a joint secretary without prior sanction from authorities. The CBI arrested Sharma after a go-ahead from the Railway Board.

Sharma is suspected to have played the main link in the scam running into several crores in which some officials in league with fixers leaked question papers to examinees in lieu of hefty sums. Meanwhile, a special CBI court granted a three-day police remand of eight persons accused in the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) examination paper leak scam.

The accused included Vivek Bhardwaj, son of the suspended Chairman of RRB, Mumbai, SM Sharma. The CBI, probing the cash-for-job scandal, produced them in the court and sought their custody to grill them further on the role of railway officials and others in the racket.

A search is on to nab other agents who operated from various cities across the country and lured the aspiring candidates. The central investigating agency had last week unearthed a well-oiled racket, involving railway officials and agents, who allegedly charged nearly Rs 3.5 lakh from each candidate for leaking question papers for recruitment tests for Assistant Loco Pilots and Assistant Station Masters held on June 6 and 13.

As murky details of the multi-crore scam came to light, the Rail Ministry suspended Sharma. The CBI investigations had revealed that atleast 444 candidates were supplied question papers ahead of the examinations.