Railway Ministry should take steps against fraud bookings by Parliamentarians: CIC
Subhash Chandra Agarwal, RTI activist, wrote to Railway Ministry seeking information on "Raising cancellation charges for rail-reservation: What about Parliamentarians?".
Central Information Commissioner recommended Railway Ministry to take steps against malpractices in the process of ticket-booking and cancellation by the Parliamentarians.
Currently, most of the time tickets in first-class AC are not available as the seats are full. This is because Parliamentarians make multiple reservations and fail to cancel these tickets in case of non-travel. The payments of these non-travel tickets are made from public exchequer.
On June 26, 2013, Subhash Chandra Agarwal, RTI activist, wrote to Railway Ministry seeking information on "Raising cancellation charges for rail-reservation: What about Parliamentarians?".
CIC, on Thursday in its verdict said that Railway Board Chairman should consider "institutionalizing a mechanism in this respect so that the public is not put to any inconvenience".
Zee Biz sources said that during the hearing, railway officials had said, "some mischievous elements make multiple bookings in the name of Parliamentarians at times even without knowledge of concerned Parliamentarians, reminding of infamous LTC scam involving the facility provided to Parliamentarians'.
In the recommendations, CIC told Railway board that they should incorporate proper system ensuring Parliamentarians not able to make online railway reservations to avoid multiple/fraud bookings.
Further, the Board should adopt a system where Parliamentarian will be required to submit identity proof along with filing confirming form while booking tickets under reserved accommodation. The form should be submitted to Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats while claiming reimbursement.
"Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats may be required to deduct cost of amounts paid to railway authorities from pay/pensions of concern parliamentarian(s)/ex-parliamentarian(s) for their not travelling on reserved accommodations", Agarwal said.