Now, Railways open door to launder black money, bulk bookings reported

All AC seats in the Rajdhani express have been reportedly sold out for next four months as a result of bulk bookings

Following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in the country, people are reportedly making bulk booking of railway tickets to legalise hidden cash.

The government earlier excused hospitals, railway, bus and airlines ticket counters from its directive and allowed them to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 old notes till November 11.

According to the reports, all AC seats in the Rajdhani express, which runs between Delhi and Trivandrum,  have been sold out for next four months as a result of bulk booking.

It is learnt that people and travel agents chose to encash the sizeable stock of demonetised money through railway since there remain an option cancel those tickets later and get refunded as legal money.

Similar mass bookings have been taken places various parts of the country, mostly for high-value seats on ultra-long distance trains.

A booking clerk on Western Railway was quoted by Times of India as saying, “A maximum of six persons can book berths as per the requisition form. People panicked and filled up the entire quota, that too for to-and-fro journeys to faraway destinations like New Delhi, Howrah and Kankyakumari, in First AC coaches.”

“With this modus-operandi, that is multiple bookings, some were able to use up Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes worth Rs 4-5 lakh,” the clerk added.

Reports said people were keen to book waitlisted tickets as the railway charges less for the cancellation of waitlisted tickets.

Meanwhile, officials said such mass bookings have been blocked now after noticing the motives behind. A senior railway official said, “We had anticipated this trend and instructed PRS officials to not entertain group bookings. Also, suspicious transactions, which we felt were being done, were declined,” TOI reported.