Jun 29, 2016

CBI files FIR against 41 Southern Railway TTEs

Chennai: The anti-corruption branch of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a first information report (FIR) against 41 travelling ticket examiners (TTE) of the Chennai division of Southern Railway under seven sections of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, forgery and corruption.

The FIR was registered last week by the Chennai zone of the CBI based on a complaint given by an employee of Southern Railway, whose identity is not known. RailNews has the list of ticket checkers who have been named in the FIR.

The TTEs were found to be allegedly misusing their authority to collect money from railway commuters across stations in the city in mid-2015. On July 1 last year, periodical transfer orders were issued by the commercial department after an internal investigation found many irregularities .

The 41 TTEs had defied orders, allegedly under the influence of the employees’ union Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU), and retained their original position. This however, made them ineligible to penalise ticketless travellers, but they continued doing that. Colleagues have identified many of the 41 named in the FIR as SRMU office-bearers.

For example, if one TTE had been posted to work in an express train, he defied the order and stayed put at Chennai Central in the role of a squad TTE, who stands at gates to check tickets of passengers and collect fines. This is illegal, according to railway rules and has come under the CBI scanner.

CBI will also investigate if these 41 TTEs had employed proxies or used forged cash books to issue dubious slips to ticketless travellers. TTEs are given an Excess Fare Ticket (EFT) book, which contains receipts given to ticketless travellers after they pay the fine. It is suspected that duplicate books were being used by these TTEs.

Sources said, CBI got wind of this scam after a recent Permanent Negotiating Mechanism (PNM) meeting, which is held to resolve disputes between labour unions and railway administration. The minutes of the meeting recorded that the said TTEs had collected money as fines despite having no authority. It also mentions that a union representative from SRMU demanding that the money should be refunded to commuters as it was collected in an improper manner.

This is the second scam in Southern Railway’s commercial department which is being investigated by CBI in the past week. The investigative agency is also looking into the unauthorised issuance of Emergency Quota (EQ) tickets by railway officials in Trivandrum division for monetary benefit.