PAG detects fraud in use of Railway Travel Coupns by Bihar legislators

Patna,(BiharTimes): At least 54 legislators of Bihar Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council have allegedly fudged travelling bills in order to cash in on Railway benefits given to them.

There are in all 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs in the state.

According to the Principal Accountant General (PAG) audit of the two Houses from March 2009 to March 2012 in all 54 legislators have travelled two or more places in different directions on the same day, which is not at all possible.

For example, one legislator has allegedly produced details showing that he undertook train journey in three different directions on the same day. Such claims were made on more than 142 occasions by them.

Incidentally the legislators belong to all the prominent parties, the Janata Dal (United), Bharatiya Janata Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal etc. Since the NDA has overwhelming majority in both the Houses most of the members belong to the Janata Dal (United)-BJP alliance.

Reports said that one legislator produced details of his travel from Patna to Delhi twice and Patna to Kishanganj the same day.

Another MLA showed he had travelled from Patna to Azam Nagar Road, Patna to New Delhi and New Delhi to Patna on February 15, 2010. Yet another elected representative showed he had travelled from Patna to Forbesganj, Forbesganj to Patna and again Patna to Forbesganj on November 17, 2010 despite the fact that Forbesganj is over 300 km from the state capital. Incidentally, Bihar Assembly election was going on in November 2010.

The report said that these legislators availed stay allowances even after claiming that they travelled out of the state capital.

The legislators also produced details of 3,598 trips between April 2009 and March 2012 and claimed stay allowance 3,123 times.

An MLA or MLC gets RTCs worth Rs 1.5 lakh in a year to travel in AC class with one co-traveller.

Reports also said RTCs worth Rs 10.81 crore were issued to 402 members between April 2006 and March 2012, out of which Rs 46.02 lakh has been spent on co-travellers.

When the media broke the news one of the legislators defended the action by stating that since he had to cancel his visit to a particular place and go to other place and as RTC can not be cancelled he had to produce both the records. But then this can happen only once, but not twice on the same day and with so many legislators so many times.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that such gross irregularities have been detected.




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