Agents forge ministers' letterheads

A group of travel agents has used forged letterheads of Union ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Anand Sharma and K C Venugopal to get confirmed waitlisted rail tickets, police said on Sunday.

A case of cheating and forgery has been registered by the Delhi Police on a complaint filed by the Vigilance wing of Northern Railways after it got a tip off from its Divisional Commercial Manager in Lucknow.

A senior police official said the Northern Railways brought to their notice in seven cases, out of which five were found to be fake. Of the seven cases, the official said three letters in the names of ministers Reddy, Sharma and Venugopal and two on BSP MP Ambeth Rajan’s name were found forged.

The letters of MPs Ramakant Yadav and Jagdanand were found to be original.

 An investigation by the Railways’ Vigilance Branch found that Reddy never signs such letters himself and only his Private Secretary or Additional Private Secretary do so.

“The letterhead on which the requisition has been sent is fake as the address of the minister’s office has been written as Shastri Bhawan whereas his office is in Anusandhan Bhawan,” the official said.

Sharma’s personal staff informed the branch that he does not sign emergency quota letters. The minister’s assistant told the Vigilance Branch, “The minister never signs on the right hand side. He always signs on the left hand side.”

Venugopal’s letter was also found to be forged. The official said the tricksters forgot that the Kerala leaders’s portfolio was changed in the previous reshuffle.

“The letterhead was that of Minister of State for Power, while he is the Minister of State for Civil Aviation now,” the official said.

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