Apart from issuing fake tickets,a new kind of forgery seems to be emerging in the Indian Railways.
Off late,the Railways authorities have been receiving false claims asking for refund of e-tickets. Till now,22 people have been found involved in the racket.
Initial investigation by the Railways has revealed that the passengers,who had claimed a refund of their e-tickets,had already undertaken their journey with the purchased tickets. Under the Indian Penal Code,forwarding false claims of refund after using a ticket is a punishable offence.
Usually,a passenger takes out more than one printout of an e-ticket. With one copy,he undertakes the journey. Later,he comes up with yet another print out of the e-ticket,which has not been marked by the travel ticket examiner (TTE),and demands a refund.
Since e-tickets are not manually operated,Railway officials face a hard time to check whether the passenger has really availed the tickets or not. In the recent past,the authorities have come to know about this emerging trend with the help of the actual lists of passengers,which are uploaded by the TTEs based on reservation schedules.
In December,Railway officials who manage commercial issues and deal with e-tickets and refund noticed that seven persons had forwarded fake applications for refund of their e-tickets. After identifying them from the Railways database,we lodged an FIR with Hare Street police station on December 16 accusing the seven of forgery, said S Goswami,spokesperson of the Eastern Railways.
The police,however,are yet to take any action against the offenders. According to an officer,the Railways was yet to hand over all the required information against the offenders. The Railways officials,however,claimed they have submitted a copy containing all the required information to the police while lodging the FIR. We have lodged an FIR against seven persons and handed over all the details to the local police station, said a senior official.
Moreover,the offenders are ignorant about the fact that an FIR has been lodged against them. I dont know about any FIR. I had booked an e-ticket from Balurghat to Kolkata in the first week of December. I did not undertake the journey. So,I applied to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation for a refund through the Ticket Deposit Receipt process, said Saugata Ghosh,a resident of Balurghat and an offender,according to Eastern Railway records.