Elusive ticket touting scam accused surrenders

मुंबई Mumbai: The Railway Protection Force unit of Central Railway, currently investigating a multi-crore touting scam using speed software, got a boost after the kingpin of the first such scam the RPF broke, surrendered in front of the court last week.

Who is the prized catch?

Shamsher Nisar Alam, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district, was wanted by the RPF since March this year when they had busted a major touting racket wherein a Ghatkopar-based collegian was also apprehended.

As reported earlier, Shamsher was declared an absconder by the 35th railway court at CST, after the latter allowed its plea to do so. This proclamation under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows the RPF to move ahead to the next step of attaching Shamsher’s property, in case he failed to appear before court for the next hearing – which was scheduled on December 9.

What the court ordered for Shamsher?

On December 9, Shamsher surrendered before court and while releasing him on a bail amount of Rs15,000, the court directed him to present himself before the RPF every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next one month.

A senior RPF officer told: “After a month, he will have to appear before the RPF every Sunday till the complaint is filed by us. He has been asked to completely cooperate with the investigations.” Another senior RPF officer said: “It will really give our investigations a boost, because we believe Shamsher is in the know of several aspects of the speed software being used by some touts to corner tickets online as well as several touting rackets running within the city. We are confident we will get to the bottom of this matter.”

First speed software-aided touting scam busted

The March raid, carried out after two months’ surveillance by CR’s commercial and vigilance departments, was the first time the authorities managed to lay hands on automation software that was allowing touts to corner tickets on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation website at a faster speed, than transactions made on the website by bonafide passengers.

The officer added: “The fact that we pursued Shamsher and forced him to surrender just shows our commitment in the fight against touting. It is affecting thousands of people on a daily basis, and especially during the festival seasons where, despite the railways running so many special and routine trains, normal people still fail to get tickets.”  Shamsher was booked under the following sections:

Section 82 – It contains the procedure to declare a person an ‘absconder’ if the person fails to appear before the court even after being served a summon and also avoids an arrest warrant issued against him.

Section 83 – Declaring an accused an absconder as described in section 82 is the final step to get the person to appear before court. If the person fails to attend court even after this, Section 83 empowers the court to attach the property of the person.