The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Monday that it has arrested A.K. Kathpal, the former Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer of Indian Railways earlier posted at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), in an alleged graft case and recovered Rs 2.75 crore in cash and 23 kg gold during searches at nine locations.
A CBI spokesperson said that Kathpal, a 1984 batch IRSME officer who was earlier posted at the ICF Perambur in Chennai, has been arrested on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 50 lakh.
The official said that CBI had registered a case against Kathpal, who retired in March this year, and others, including private persons, on the allegation that the accused while holding the post of Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, ICF, was indulging in various activities in collusion with the director of a Chennai-based private firm and unknown persons in the award or execution of tenders with respect to the mechanical division of ICF.
The CBI spokesperson said that it was further alleged that Kathpal during the period from February 2019 to March 31, 2021, the date of his retirement, had collected bribe from the director of a private firm and others and used the services of Hansa Venugopal, Director of Universal Engineering Chennai Pvt Ltd, as a conduit for collecting bribe 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 Kathpal, Venugopal had arranged to deliver a sum of Rs 50 lakh as the first instalment of the total bribe amount kept in her custody.
The spokesperson said that Kathpal was caught by the CBI while demanding and accepting an amount of Rs 50 lakh as the second instalment of the bribe amount from the said private persons.
“Four other persons have been detained in connection with the case,” he said.
The official said that CBI carried out searches at the premises of the accused along with nine locations in Delhi and Chennai, which led to the recovery of Rs 2.75 crore in cash and 23 kg gold.
A CBI source said that Rs 2.75 crore was recovered from the premises of Kathpal’s brother, Sanjay Kathpal.
The source said that Sanjay used to collect bribe on behalf of his brother.