Paswan under CBI scanner in recruitment case

LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan has come under the CBI scanner in the Bokaro Steel Plant recruitment scam, after the agency recovered some documents that indicated involvement of his staff.

The agency may also contemplate questioning the leader though no decision has been taken as yet. With Paswan trying to stitch an alliance with the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls by dumping the Congress and the RJD, a decision to question him would lead to accusations that the UPA government was using the CBI to corner political adversaries.

The case had come to light in January when the CBI arrested four persons, including sons of former governor Syed Sibtey Razi, BJP's Rajya Sabha member Satyanarayan Jatia and retired high court judge D G R Patnaik. They allegedly obtained managerial posts in the Bokaro Steel Plant through fraudulent means.

CBI officials said they have documents that indicate the involvement of Paswan's staff in extending favours to some candidates. Paswan was the Union minister for chemicals, fertilisers and steel in the UPA cabinet between May 2004 and May 2009. The appointments were made during his tenure.

They said a final decision on questioning Paswan would be taken as and when the probe progresses. Documents submitted by some candidates had seals of Paswan and supporting letters from his staff.

Thirteen candidates were favoured for middle or junior management posts at Bokaro Steel Plant.

Two cases were registered in Dhanbad in January for alleged irregularities in the appointments. Twenty-three working or retired officials of the plant were also named. They were charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating and forgery, besides the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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