Bokaro, Feb. 18: CBI pressure has forced SAIL corporate headquarters in New Delhi to crack down on 23 “backdoor recruits”, the hiring of whom allegedly started seven years ago by then Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) managing director V.K. Srivastav, the blue-eyed boy of then Union steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
From February 14 to this evening, SAIL issued 14 dismissal letters, four of whose recipients are sons of high-profile men, including a BJP satrap from Madhya Pradesh and a Jharkhand former governor.
As many as eight dismissal letters were issued today.
The process of showcause started on January 30, when notices were slapped to 17 tainted recruits, asking each to explain in a week’s time why they had been hired. On February 3, the rest of the 23 were similarly showcaused.
Among the four hired in mid-management posts include former governor Syed Sibtey Razi’s son Syed Mohammad Razi, former BSL MD B.K. Singh’s son Ritesh, former Jharkhand High Court justice D.G.R. Patnaik’s son Yogesh and BJP MP from Ujjain and former Union labour minister Satyanarayan Jatiya’s son Raj Kumar.
On January 28, 36 CBI teams conducted raids in Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand and others in connection with the recruitment scam that started in 2007 with a small ad in a little-known Mumbai newspaper.
The ad mentioned vacancies for an upcoming Rs 300-crore steel processing plant at Bettiah in Bihar under SAIL. The steel plant never took off, but those hired soon obtained transfers to postings of their choice.
For instance, Syed Mohammad is in Delhi, Ritesh in Mumbai, having moved there from Delhi, Yogesh in Ranchi and Raj Kumar in father’s home turf Bhopal.
The CBI, besides probing the 23 tainted recruits, is also tightening the noose around the big fish.