Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Petition seeks CBI probe into misuse of emergency quota
Jun 12, 2012, 02.51AM IST TNN

CHENNAI: A public interest petition has sought a probe by CBI into irregularities in emergency quota (EQ) in the railway reservation system and a set of foolproof guidelines to regulate it. 

If that is not possible, the EQ provision should be abolished, the petition filed by advocate C Jebakumar George said. It alleged rampant misuse of the quota, accounting for a 5,760 crore scam annually.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, before which the matter came up for admission on Monday, adjourned the matter by six weeks, with a direction that the relevant papers be served on the railways for reply.

According to the PIL, only a negligible benefit goes to the railways through EQs, as most of the money is siphoned off by railway staff and travel agents who make up to 300 each while selling tickets. Pointing out that the Southern Railway's headquarters at Chennai released 3,600 EQ tickets daily, he said the loss to the railways worked out to crores of rupees every year.

Citing a February 2011 circular issued by the Railways on EQs, the petition said only VIPs shall be allotted EQ benefits. The circular further mandates that all request and allotment details shall be duly recorded in a diary for perusal and inspection later. The petitioner wanted the court to direct the Railway Board to issue detailed guidelines regarding the issue and not to release EQ for regular sleeper class coaches.


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