Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project chief Satish Agnihotri sacked over graft allegations

Senior railway officials said there were several allegations against Agnihotri, including misuse of official position and diverting funds in an unauthorised manner to a private company

PTIUpdated: Friday, July 08, 2022, 04:34 PM IST
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Bullet train project chief Satish Agnihotri sacked over graft allegations |

The Railways has terminated the services of NHSRCL Managing Director Satish Agnihotri who was in charge of the government's prestigious bullet train project, senior officials said on Thursday.

Rajendra Prasad, Director, Projects, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has been handed over the charge for three months, the officials said.

Senior Railway officials said there were several allegations against Mr Agnihotri, including misuse of official position and diverting funds in an unauthorised manner to a private company.

They said the decision to terminate the services of Mr Agnihotri came following a June 2 Lokpal court order directing the CBI to probe charges of a "quid pro quo" deal allegedly struck by the former NHSRCL MD with a private company during his nine-year tenure as CMD of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL).

The Lokpal court has directed the CBI to "ascertain whether any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, is made out" against Mr Agnihotri and to submit the probe report to the Lokpal office within six months or before December 12, 2022.

"The competent authority has approved the termination of office of Satish Agnihotri. He has been directed to be relieved with immediate effect," read the July 7 letter of the Railway Board, addressed to the company secretary of the NHSRCL.

NHSRCL is a joint venture of the Government of India and participating states for implementing high-speed rail projects.

Officials also alleged that Mr Agnihotri took up a job in a private firm within a year of his retirement. This was in violation of government rules which prohibits retired officials from accepting commercial employment before one year of retirement without the Centre's approval.

Sources close to Mr Agnihotri told Press Trust of India that the senior bureaucrat has denied all the allegations and said that he had not favoured a particular company and neither did his son work in any such firm which bagged such works.

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