Mahesh Kumar's birth date changed to make him eligible for top post

FPKumar after his arrest

Four months before the CBI arrested Member (Staff), Railway Board, Mahesh Kumar, on bribery charges, his date of birth was amended in official records so that he would be eligible for the post of Chairman, Railway Board in July 2013. The present Chairman, Railway Board, Vinay Mittal, is set to retire on June 30.

According to records available with The Sunday Express, Kumar's date of birth was changed from May 15, 1955 to July 15, 1955. The extra two months gave him the benefit of being eligible for the top Railway Board post, for which the minimum residual service has to be two years. The other eligibility criteria is that he should have completed one year as general manager (GM), which Kumar has already completed.

As per his earlier date of birth, Kumar was due to retire on May 15, 2015. But the new date of birth meant he would be due to retire on July 15, 2015, thus ensuring that he had two years of service left and keeping him in the race for the Chairman's post.

Although the Deputy Chief Accounts Officer (General) (Dy CAO) had noted that the matter of altering Kumar's date of birth should be referred to the Railways Ministry, the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO), Railways, had overruled him by saying it was a "clerical error" and instructed the Financial Advisor-cum-Chief Accounts Officer (FA & CAO) to make the change.

"The date of birth of Shri Mahesh Kumar, as per entries made in service records, is shown as 15.05.1955. It is also seen that some manual corrections have been made by crossing '5' and substituting it with '7' in some documents by some Railways (officials) without any decision and direction of the Ministry as such," the Dy CAO had said in a note on December 3, 2012.

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