Tuesday, February 23, 2016

By Yathiraju  Published: 23rd February 2016 

BENGALURU: Four TTEs (travelling ticket examiners) of the South Western Railway have been booked for duping several job aspirants in a railway recruitment scam.

The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (ACB-CBI) has filed an FIR against Srinath, M Raghu, R Pradeep Kumar (all from Mysuru) and Hanumanthappa from Hubballi, and some unknown persons. The alleged kingpin Srinath is absconding.

The modus operandi of the gang was simple. They first created a fake website that went by the name, Railway Recruitment Board (RRB). Gullible candidates, contacted through agents, were asked to write online tests. They were asked to pay hefty sums in advance in order to get the jobs. Later the aspirants underwent medical examination and were called for interviews, following which they were issued fake appointment letters.

The ACB-CBI, Bengaluru, which busted the racket, said more railway officials are suspected to be involved in it. The CBI is in the process of collecting evidence by recording the statements of the victims. The number of victims and amount of money collected is still unclear.

“The accused allegedly conspired with other unknown officials and created a fake website in the name of RRB, the biggest recruiting authority in the Railways, Chennai, and promised employment as ticket collectors, station masters and assistant station masters,” a senior CBI officer said.


● Accused create fake recruitment board site, hire agents to contact candidates

● Candidates take online tests, undergo medical examination and get interview calls

● Money collected from job aspirants in advance; results declared on website

● Fake appointment letters sent to candidates across state but no jobs given

According to the FIR registered recently, the modus operandi of the accused and other officials was to hire some agents on commission basis. The agents would contact job aspirants, promising them jobs in Railways under the ministry quota. Applicants were taken to Madurai and Chennai, housed in lodges and made to take online tests, after which results were declared. The fraudsters collected money from aspirants in advance, got fake medical tests conducted on them and conned them into believing that their selection was genuine.

The accused prepared false appointment orders in the name of RRB, Chennai, to many candidates in and around Arsikere, Davanagere and other districts in Karnataka. The alleged crime was committed in 2014-2015.

All the accused were booked under Sections 120-B, 420, 468 and 471 of IPC and Sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Searches were conducted by the CID in January at the residences of the accused.

Srinath (42) a resident of Vijayanagar in Bengaluru, had been working as Deputy Chief Ticket Inspector in SWR, Mysuru. He is the prime accused. Though the CBI team visited the houses of Srinath at Shivamogga and Vijayanagar, he could not be traced. “He has not cooperated with the investigation and is untraceable,” CBI sources added.

The second accused is M Raghu, Senior Ticket Checker, Mysuru Division, SWR, residing at Devaraj Urs Layout in Davanagere. The third accused, R Pradeep Kumar (36), is a resident of Manjunath Nagar, Bengaluru, and worked as Deputy Chief Travelling Ticket Inspector, Mysuru. He had joined the Railways in 2001 on compassionate grounds following the death of his father.

The fourth accused, Hanumanthappa (39), working as TTE, Sleeper Depot, Hubballi, is a resident of Vikasa Nagar, Haveri.

CBI police have seized several incriminating material like ID cards and income certificates of few persons, blank applications of RRB, diary containing lists of names, amounts written against dates, call letters, mark cards and ID cards of several persons, bank pass book and three debit cards.

Anticipatory Bail Pleas rejected

Bengaluru: A CBI special judge dismissed anticipatory bail petitions of all the four accused in the railway recruitment scam.

S K Vantigodi, Special Judge for CBI cases, said the nature of offences alleged against the petitioners were “grave and therefore the custodial interrogation of the petitioner and others was necessary for CBI to investigate into the matter”.

“The CBI are in the process of collecting incriminating evidence. Under such circumstances, merely because the RRB or victim has not filed any complaint against the accused does not mean that they are not involved in the commission of offences alleged,” the judge said.

Further, the judge said that neither did the accused appear before the investigating authority, nor was he present when searches were conducted at his residence. It shows that they are not cooperating with the agency. Therefore, for effective investigation, custodial interrogation of the petitioner is necessary.


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