BENGALURU: The Bengaluru unit of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is shaken to the core by a corruption scandal involving its staff in Bangarpet. Three cops, including an Inspector, have been suspended and the vigilance unit of the Railway Board came down from New Delhi a couple of days ago to investigate the issue.
RPF constable (court orderly) Jagadish, whose duty involves producing people accused of petty crimes inside trains or railway stations in a local court to remit the fines due, never did it for nearly a year. Instead, he pocketed money meant to be handed over and entered fake court case numbers in the General Diary at the railway police station as proof of his work. By a rough estimate, anywhere between 1,000 and 1,200 fake numbers have been produced, a top cop revealed.
Jagadish would have continued it, but for an alert from assistant Sub Inspector Chandraiah, who suspected something amiss by February-end this year. “Chandraiah went to the court for verification and discovered that no one had been produced on behalf of Railways since May last year,” said a top RPF official. He alerted the head office in Bengaluru immediately.
Following an internal inquiry, Jagadish, as well as his seniors, Sub Inspector Padmanathan and Inspector Kishore Lal at the station were suspended on April 10. The Railway Board was informed. “Jagadish had mainly booked unauthorised vendors in the Bangarpet-Jolarpettai section. He would bring them to the police station and in the guise of taking them to court, stop them en route and collect a penalty of `1,000 from each one and pocket it,” a senior cop explained.
The constable would visit the court later and bring case numbers of other hearings taking place there and produce them as that of the vendors. Since, the receipt of payment is usually handed over by the court to the accused, there was no receipt proof that had to be submitted.”The whole concept functions on trust and faith. No senior RPF official at Bangarpet during that time even thought of cross-checking the court case numbers he produced, which makes them guilty of lack of supervision,” he added.
Deputy Inspector General-cum-Chief Security Commissioner of RPF, South Western Railway, D B Kasur, said, “We will ensure exemplary punishment to the three so that it serves as a warning to everyone in the department.”
A top RPF cop told The New Indian Express that dismissal was certain for all of them. “It is the act of cheating the department that matters. Even cheating by a rupee by producing false travel allowance bills is considered a crime. This is a planned, meticulously executed act.”