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Rail Neer racket: CBI recovers Rs.4 lakh fake currency

New Delhi: The CBI told a court here on Monday that searches conducted as part of its probe in a case of supplying inferior-quality packaged drinking water in premium trains had led to recovery of approximately Rs.28 crore out of which around Rs.4 lakh was counterfeit.

After hearing the arguments, Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar allowed probe agency to quiz, for five days, to interrogate arrested railways officers Sandeep Silas and M.S. Chalia and businessman Sharan Bihari Agarwal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested the three on Saturday and on Sunday, all the three were sent to a day’s police custody.

They were presented before the court on Monday after expiry of their one-day police custody.

The CBI while seeking custody of the three accused told court that it has recovered Rs. 28 crore from the possesion of Agarwal, owner of R.K. Associates Pvt. Ltd, which was managing supply of packaged drinking water, out of which Rs.405, 500 was fake currency.

It added that accused has not given reasonable explanation for the possession of huge cash and therefore to establish the chain of cash flow, custodial interrogration is required.

Silas and Chalia are required to be interrograted with respect to their investment in various companies and properties which is either in their names or in the names of their family members.

The agency also submitted that they are investigating the role of railway officials in favouring Agarwal, and also held the accused are influential people and can tamper with evidence and documents related to the case.

The CBI said that accused were not cooperating in the probe and they were required to be interrogated regarding some bank lockers in and outside Delhi and also in Agra.

Defence counsel of the accused opposed the plea and said their clients were cooperating with the agency.

One of the defence counsel said that the packaged drinking water of the other companies were supplied due to insufficient quantity of Rail-Neer brand.

According to a CBI release, Sandeep Silas is a 1984-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer.

Chalia, the second officer, also came under the scanner of the CBI for the alleged involvement of his son’s company in the scam.

The CBI suspected that the private catering companies could have paid illegal remittances to the officer through the company run by his son for favours shown to them for supplying inferior quality of packaged drinking water on premium trains.

On Friday, CBI registered a case against Chalia, Silas and seven private companies — RK Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food Product and Food World — under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.