Millennium Post

CBI finds criminality in LTC scam

CBI has found prima facie ‘criminality’ in an alleged cheating case involving senior officials of Rajya Sabha Secretariat and some PSUs in claiming Leave Travel Concessions.

CBI sources said the agency is carrying out a preliminary enquiry into the LTC case and has questioned several travel agents which revealed an alleged nexus between officials of the Secretariat and several PSUs. The agency would be filing an FIR in the matter soon.

The sources said several employees of the Secretariat, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India Ltd might be named as accused in the case but the agency has so far not found any criminality on part of any Member of Parliament.

‘We have not received any complaint against MPs in this regard. No names of MPs have figured so far in the probe,’ a CBI official said on the condition of anonymity.

The sources they have found there was prima facie alleged irregularities in claiming the LTC with an intention to maximise the personal benefit by scuttling the laid down norms which was done in collusion with the travel agents.

The sources said based on its preliminary enquiry, the agency might also book these travel agent who fudged the claims for the employees of the PSUs and the Secretariat.

Lakhs of rupees are said to have been fraudulently claimed from the government through fake Leave Travel Concession (LTC) claims, availed by government officials to get concessional tickets.

The incident had come to light after the vigilance department of Air India(AI) was alerted about the arrest of a man in March at the Kolkata airport with 600 blank boarding passes of the airline in his possession.

Suspecting alleged criminal nexus between air travel agents and government employees, Air India got in touch with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) which has now asked the CBI to look into the matter.

One of the cases to be probed is the LTC facility availed on December 13, 2012 when seven tickets of ‘Executive Class’ were purchased for travel on the Delhi-Kolkata-Port Blair route and back.

The Air India in March got a letter from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat asking the airline to conduct an inquiry into this case after it got LTC claims from seven individuals in this regard.

BJP MP Basavaraj Patil had raised the issue in Rajya Sabha where he claimed false travel claims were made by central government and public sector employees through fake tickets for travel on state-run Air India (AI).

Six hundred fake AI tickets have been detected while another 400 SpiceJet tickets have also been traced, he had said, adding, there are cases where business tickets have also been issued to secretary rank officers in flights where there are no business classes.

The cost of such tickets even for Andaman and Nicobar islands are said to be running into lakhs of rupees ranging from Rs 1.05 lakh to Rs 2.10 lakh, he had alleged.
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