In a shocking development, Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) R K Mittal is facing probe over alleged irregularities in disbursement of around Rs 50 crore between 2015 and 2017
In a shocking development, Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) R K Mittal is facing probe over alleged irregularities in disbursement of around Rs 50 crore between 2015 and 2017, according to Indian Express report. Principal bench’s chairman, Justice (retired) K Kannan has sent a letter to the Railway Ministry last week. In the letter, Kannan has recommended a probe by the CBI against the tribunal’s Patna bench member (judicial) R K Mittal. It has been learnt that Railway board chairman Ashwani Lohani was also favoured a CBI investigation. Notably, Mittal was transferred from Patna to the RCT’s Ranchi bench last year. He was again shifted to the tribunal’s Ernakulam bench. Mittal, however, rejected all the charges. “If there is any wrongdoing found in any particular case, I can clarify that the wrongdoing is either on part of the party or the railways. There is no wrongdoing in the working of the court,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kannan’s letter to Lohani states: “I have come by disturbing evidence of what I had suspicions about… The inquiry…may be directed at examination of the benefit in whatever fashion accrued to the Member (Judicial), the extent of benefit which must come to the lawyers….the persons who are the actual beneficiaries of the transfers made to the particular bank accounts…”
The findings of the internal probe show that Mittal was allegedly “complicit” with a group of five lawyers in Patna. These lawyers represented 91 per cent of all the applicants during May 2015 to August 2017 to commit ‘deliberate fraud’ on the Railways. One of the key findings is that Mittal allegedly issued 950 “warrants of recovery” directly to the Reserve Bank of India, Patna, ordering it to deduct the money claimed from the Railways’ account. The report states that the money allegedly went to bank accounts, “which were not verified to be the bank accounts as set forth in applications” of the victims and families in documents filed with the RCT.
Last year, the Madras High Court had stayed the appointment of a technical member in the Ernakulam bench of the Railway Claims Tribunal. A division bench of justices S Manikumar and M Govindaraj had stayed the appointment in an interim order on a petition by Southern Railway Mazdoor Union’s Assistant General Secretary G Eswar Lal. Admitting the petition, the bench also had issued notices to the Railway Board chairman and various other Central authorities.