- Bribe Fighter
- 8 years ago
- 2226 views
I am in The Army and was ordered to travel from Kota to Mumbai on a temporary duty at a notice of one day. Although the Army gives you a railway warrant to travel you have to present it at the counter and get a reservation yourself. As I went to the counter for a reservation I was told that no berths were available over the next 20 days. In The Army we do not say that we cannot travel due to lack of reservation. Orders are orders and if you are given a movement order you simply have to move even without reservation. As I turned away from the counter I was approached by a tout who offered me a reserved ticket at Rs 700 (The actual price is Rs 340). In a weak moment I agreed and bought the ticket. I was told by the tout to state my name as SP **********. I didn't feel good about it since we in The Army are generally an honest lot who are taught the ethics of 'Imandari' (honesty) , 'Wafadari'(loyalty) and 'Sharafat'(decent behaviour) time and again till it becomes almost ingrained into us. Any how once I had bought the ticket I had little choice and I boarded the train the next day. As soon had the train moved out of the station than a flying squad of 2-3 ticket collectors and 2-3 railway policemen entered the compartment and straightaway headed to my seat. They presented identity cards and asked me my name. I was already feeling guilty and so immediately told them that I was travelling on an improper ticket which was in the name of one SP ********** and that my name was J ----. They seemed to be a bit taken aback at my candidness but told me that I would have to go alongwith them to the magistrate. I calmly explained to them that I was a military man travelling on duty , showed them my movement order and also informed them that it would be illegal for them to try to prevent me from completing my journey. However I said that I admitted to being wrong in having bought a ticket from a tout and that I was ready to pay the fine for it. They took me aside and informed me that the fine would come to 10 times the ticket cost but that I could settle the matter for a small bribe of Rs 1000/- . I refused to pay and again told them to make out a challan and that I was willing to pay 10 times the cost of the ticket. I would not do a dis-honestt act again even if it cost me a small fortune. They could not believe their ears and thought that I was trying to negotiate the bribe amount. So they said that since I was an Army man they would give me a fifty percent discount and I needed to pay only Rs 500/- . I again politely and calmly explained that I wouldn't pay a single paisa as bribe. I told them that I was ready to pay the full amount into government coffers as a fine with a proper receipt for it.
The men looked at each other sheepishly, went into a huddle and then one of the came back to me and told me that they were levying the minimum fine of Rs 340/- on me and what's more they would give me a proper receipt allotting the berth to me for the rest of the journey (which I did).
From the way the men had unerringly come to me on boarding the train I can't help beieving that I was the victim of a planned con job with the cops in cahoots with the tout. The tout probably sneaked the information to the cops for a couple of hundred rupees while the cops made hefty money through bribes.