Railway ticket trade blame on XLRI staff

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  • Published 8.03.05

Jamshedpur, March 8: Fredrick D?Souza, a non-teaching staff of Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), had no inkling that he would land up in a police lock-up for buying railway tickets for his colleagues at the institute.

But this is exactly what happened as D?Souza was standing at the ticket counter near the Tatanagar railway station.

No sooner had D?Souza asked for four tickets, two for Kerala and two for Andhra Pradesh, personnel of Railway Protection Force (RPF) arrested him on charges of illegal trading of tickets.

D?Souza was taken aback. No amount of explanation or revealing his identity pacified the RPF who were on a special drive today to check illegal trade of railway tickets.

RPF officials say Fredrick has been booked under Section 143 of the Railway Act that prevents illegal trade of tickets.

Sources said D?Souza had even showed the police officials letters from the two families whose tickets he was buying, but they were not convinced.

RPF Tatanagar?s inspector C. Murmu said no person can buy more than one ticket at a time, except for one?s family members.

However, when enquired, senior officials said there is no such law that prevents someone from buying more than one ticket for persons other than family members.

He explained that in such cases the police would have to produce circumstantial evidence that the person has been doing such things on a regular basis.

?We?ve arrested Fredrick D?Souza as he was found buying tickets for four persons of two families. The act of buying tickets in this way tantamounts to trading of railway tickets,? said the RPF inspector.

Murmu said they seized Rs 10,000 from the accused, beside the two reservation slips, which suggested that he was involved in the illegal trading of railway ticket.

The inspector said, ?One can buy one or more than one tickets for others, but he or she has to possess authorisation letter from either the divisional railway manager or the senior divisional commercial manager in addition to an authorisation letter from the organisation the person belongs to.?

The inspector said rules pertaining to purchasing of railway ticket is mentioned on the reservation slip itself.

Fredrick?s relatives and colleagues were shocked over the arrest and didn?t think Fredrick had flouted the rules.

?This is unprecedented. We didn?t know about such rules which the RPF inspector is talking about,? said one of his relatives who had gathered outside the Tatanagar RPF office in the evening.

RPF commandant Santosh Dubey, ?I am looking into the matter but prima facie, the arrest seems a genuine one.?