A special court has taken cognisance of a charge sheet against some former officials of the Indian Railways and others for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 19.5 crore to railways by selling cheaper packaged water in place of Rail Neer in Rajdhani and other super-fast trains.
Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal took cognisance of the CBI’s final report in the matter, slapping charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption against the accused.
“Cognizance has been taken against the accused persons.
Issue summons to the accused persons and notice to their sureties for August 17,” the court said.
Those named in the CBI charge sheet include then Chief Commercial Managers MS Chalia and Sandeep Silas, CEO of R K Associates, Rajeev Mittal, director of the company, Sharan Bihari Agarwal, besides private companies Satyam Caterers, Ambuj Hotels, PK Associates, Sunshine Caterers, Doon’s Caterers, Vrindavan Food Products, Food World and RD Sharma and Sons.
The agency claimed that the “accused had shown favour to these private firms in supply of cheap packaged drinking water (PDW) other than mandatory ‘Rail Neer’ on premium trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express”.
It said that during searches at various places, including Delhi and Noida, at the residence and official premises of private caterers, huge cash of about Rs 28.5 crore was recovered, along with large number of incriminating documents.
The final report said that during January 1, 2013 till December 31, 2014, the licensee caterers had not picked up Rail Neer as per the quota prescribed by IRCTC and supplied other cheap brands of PDW which were not allowed in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
“They had allegedly claimed reimbursement from Northern Railway as was prescribed for supply of Rail Neer,” it added.