In the first FIR in the Leave Travel Concession(LTC) scam, the CBI has booked JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Anil Kumar Sahani for allegedly siphoning off around Rs 9.5 lakh by presenting fake air tickets and boarding passes.
CBI sources said today that besides Sahani, an Air India customer Service agent Rubaina Akhtar and a Lajpat Nagar-based travel operator Air Cruise Travels Private Limited have also been named in the FIR in the scam in which LTC claims were forged for travel on state-run Air India.
It is alleged that Sahani made false claims of approximately Rs 9.5 lakh for seven business class return air tickets costing nearly Rs 1.34 lakh each to Port Blair in December 2012 using fake air tickets and boarding passes for himself and six associates, the sources said.
The sources said that a team of CBI officials also went to the Rajya Sabha secretariat and collected relevant records in connection with the scam in which lakhs of rupees were fraudulently claimed from the Government. They clarified that this was not a search operation.
"CBI has registered one FIR against a Rajya Sabha MP, a customer service agent of Air India and a tour operator in a case of fraudulent claims on the basis of forged air tickets and boarding passes. The investigation is in progress," a CBI spokesperson said here today.
CBI sources said the agency has registered a case under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI has alleged that the MP purchased seven return e-tickets in connivance with the tour operator and the Air India employee. He also allegedly used online service to get boarding pass using web check-in basis.
The sources said just before the boarding time, these boarding passes and tickets were allegedly cancelled using the sign-in code of Akhtar, the Air India customer service agent, and money was refunded with little deduction.
Meanwhile, the e-tickets and boarding passes which were earlier issued were allegedly presented to claim the travel expenses by the MP.
The sources said even though no expenses were incurred by the MP, he allegedly claimed the amount using these e-tickets and boarding passes which were cancelled.
They said that after the FIR was registered, agency teams swooped down at various locations including Sahani's office here and his residential premises in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, office of Air India and office of the tour operator.
Calls made to Sahani seeking his reaction remained unanswered. He also did not respond to SMS's for his version of events in the scam.
The travel agent also did not give any reaction. The person who received call refused to identify herself and took number for getting back but did not call.
The SMS sent to Air India spokesperson also remained unanswered.
CBI sources said more cases could be also registered in connection with the fake travel bills case--also known as LTC scam--which was referred to the agency by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
All the members of Parliament get 34 free air tickets in a year for themselves, their family members and associates for domestic travel to their constituencies.
During its analysis of documents, CBI had found prima facie irregularities in claiming the LTC with an intention to maximise the personal benefit by scuttling the laid down norms which was done in collusion with the travel agents.
The incident had come to light after the vigilance department of Air India (AI) was alerted about the arrest of a man in March at the Kolkata airport with 600 blank boarding passes of the airline in his possession
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