Kathpal, former Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, who was posted at ICF Chennai, was arrested on Monday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested four more persons in connection with an alleged graft case against A.K. Kathpal, a former Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer earlier posted at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. He was arrested on Monday.
Apart from ₹2.75 crore in cash and 23kg of gold, the CBI has seized papers related to fixed deposits to the tune of ₹4.28 crore, some bank accounts, immovable properties and keys of two bank lockers. “The assets are being evaluated and searches are still under way,” said an agency official.
Among the arrestees are the retired 1984 batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) official’s brother Sanjay Kathpal; Hamsa Venugopalan, the director of Universal Engineers Chennai Private Limited; Om Prakash, her working partner in Delhi; and Khetmal Jain of Chennai-based Salem Steel Trading Co.
The main accused was arrested for allegedly demanding and accepting ₹50 lakh as the second instalment of ₹5.89 crore, which had been parked with Ms. Venugopalan, the CBI said. Her company is registered as a regular vendor of the ICF.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), the official, while posted with the ICF Chennai indulged in corruption in connivance with Ms. Venugopalan and others, in the award or execution of tenders related to the ICF’s mechanical division then headed by him. It is alleged that at his instance, bribes were collected through Ms. Venugopalan from February 2019 till his retirement on March 31, 2021.
The ICF’s mechanical unit deals with procurement and supply of various equipment used for the construction/furnishing of rail coaches. The main accused, being the Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer and head of the wing, was part of the tender committee for tenders related to the supply of mechanical items.
The machines/equipment supplied by the contractors are inspected by the unit before accepting and using them for manufacturing of coaches. The bills for supplies are cleared after certification by the unit.
Being in charge of the unit, the accused was overall responsible for the design, planning, production and quality of rolling stock manufactured in the ICF. He was handling approval of designs, supply of machinery, finalisation of tenders, inspection of materials, passing of bills of vendors, etc, said the FIR.
After retirement, he allegedly asked Ms. Venugopalan to make arrangements for handing over Rs.5.89 crore to him in Delhi. In order to transfer the amount in instalments from June to September, she allegedly roped in Mr. Jain and Mr. Prakash, a resident of Trilokpuri in Delhi.
The first instalment of ₹50 lakh was delivered on June 19 by Mr. Prakash to the retired official’s brother near his residence in West Patel Nagar in Delhi. The second one was to be handed over on Monday when the CBI arrested the retired official.
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