BENGALURU: Twenty licenced railway porters have been placed under suspension by the Bangalore Railway Division for fraudulently handing over their jobs to strangers by furnishing false affidavits. Instead of filing an FIR against them for furnishing bogus affidavits as per Railway regulations, a section of employees are trying to get the licences of such porters restored, said a top railway source.
According to the Railway Board policy, a licenced porter is permitted to transfer his golden arm badge licence when he becomes old, inform or very sick to carry out his duties properly to a near relative. Near relatives include the porter's brother, nephew or wife's brother. However, this needs to be done in the presence of gazetted officers with medical documents certifying him physically unfit to continue as a porter and an affidavit stating that the transferee is the sole earning member of his family and a close relative.
It had recently come to the attention of a top railway official at the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna railway station that a good number of porters had claimed to be medically unfit and literally handed over their badge to individuals desperately in need of a job. Good sums of money are likely to have been exchanged in the process. The KSR station has over 200 licenced porters who are expected to follow luggage rates fixed by the Railways and adhere to other regulations.
Investigations into the affidavits submitted have revealed them to be bogus ones, the source said. "This amounts to contempt of court. An FIR needs to be registered against those responsible for such criminality," he added.
Another official said that Railways ought to have done some cross checks before permitting the transfer of licences. "Even a casual glance at the documents will reveal that the porter is a native of Karnataka but his blood relatives are from Bihar or Rajasthan!"
Asked about the issue, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Bangalore Division, N R Sridharmurthy told The New Indian Express that the documents submitted by some enlisted porters at KSR station are not in line with the directions issued by the Railways. "They have been asked to submit more documents. Meanwhile, 20 of them have been placed under suspension," he said.