Hours after The Indian Express reported on Friday that senior Railway officials were asked to explain why they failed to confirm the ticket of a “relative” of the Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice under the VIP quota, the magistrate who issued that notice has expressed “regret”, saying he was “totally unauthorised” to conduct any such inquiry.
On April 16, Special Railway Magistrate Vikram Pratap Chandra had issued a notice to Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of South East Central Railway (SECR) Ravish Kumar Singh, saying the “High Court has expressed displeasure and unhappiness” over the ticket not being confirmed for a “relative” of Justice Navin Sinha for travel on the Bilaspur-Patna Express on April 11.
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But in a letter to Singh on Friday, copied to the High Court Registrar General, Chandra wrote: “This has reference to the inquiry ordered by me regarding non-availability of reservation in VIP quota to relatives of the Honourable Chief Justice Chhattisgarh who had come for his oath-taking (on April 9). This inquiry by me was totally unauthorised and I did not have any information from the Honourable High Court to do so. The person concerned was not a relative of the Honourable Chief Justice and had never made any requisition to the Honourable High Court.”
In the earlier notice, Chandra had asked Singh to furnish by April 20 the “names and addresses of passengers who were given Sleeper berths in Patna Express 22843 on the said date under VIP quota”.
In his response, Singh denied any breach of protocol as the “relative” was not “travelling with the Chief Justice”.