The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday registered cases of criminal conspiracy and cheating against six current and former Rajya Sabha members in the leave travel concession (LTC) scam, in which travel reimbursements were allegedly claimed by them through purportedly forged bills.
The agency is conducting raids across 10 locations including at the residential premises of the accused and also some travel agents. Searches are on in Delhi and Odisha.
The members who have been named by CBI are Lalhmianga Liana of the Mizo National Front, D Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress, Brajesh Pathak of Bahujan Samaj Party. Among former members the investigating agency has named J P N Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party, Mahmood A Madani of Rashtriya Lok Dal and Renu Bala Pradhan of Biju Janata Dal. The CBI said it has got incriminating evidence against the accused. Searches are still on.
TMC leader Derek O’Brien said in a tweet, “This is a racket run by corrupt travel agencies… my colleague is innocent. But we will cooperate to bust the travel agency scam.”
An Air India customer service agent, Rubaina Akhtar, and a Lajpat Nagar-based travel operator, Air Cruise Travels Private Ltd, were also named in the FIR in the scam which saw LTC claims being forged citing travel on the state-run Air India. The incident came to light when the Kolkata Police nabbed a person with 600 boarding passes of Air India. It was later found that the boarding passes had to be delivered to other parties to show fake travel documents.
Thereafter, the vigilance department of Air India was then alerted about the incident. CBI has alleged that senior and mid-level officers in government organisations colluded with private tour operators to take personal trips with families to far-off destinations and then claim the amount spent as official visits.