Kolkata, Sep 1 :
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha Monday ruled out conducting an inquiry into reports that the IRCTC had entered into an agreement with a company of the chit fund funded Saradha Group in 2010 in connection with a tourism project.
“When CBI is probing, there is no need for any inquiry by the railways. Whoever is found guilty in CBI probe, the government will take strict action,” he said to a query if the tie up with an arm of the Saradha Group, which is under Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in connection with the multi crore rupee chit fund scandal, would be inquired into.
According to reports, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited had inked a deal with Saradha Tours and Travels for giving logistic support to the “Bharat Tirth” project announced in the 2010-11 railway budget.
In a bid to promote tourism, the scheme envisaged launching 16 special ‘Bharat Tirth’ trains connecting popular tourist sites as also pilgrimage centres in different parts of the country.
The reports said Saradha tours and travels was made the official partner for the 14 nights/15 days south India tour package comprising train fare, accommodation, food, transfers and sightseeing.
Asked if those at the helm of affairs of the department then would be under the scanner, Sinha said: “I an not taking any names.
“CBI is inquiring. Whoever is found guilty in the probe, whosoever he may be or she may be, the law will take its own course.”
However, former minister of state for railways Adhir Chowdhury said the railways should carry out a probe.
“When the matter has come up, the railways must inquire. Because fingers are being pointed at the railways.”
The Saradha scam came to light in April 2013 after the group downed shutters without repaying lakhs of investors, who had parked their hard earned money in the group companies, lured by the promise of astronomically high returns.
The CBI is probing the matter as per a direction of the Supreme Court.