Railway Ministry earning crores in name of taxes:PIL

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) A petition filed in the Supreme Court has alleged that the Railway Ministry, under RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, has been collecting crores of rupees from commuters by charging a range of taxes, despite having been pulled up by the Prime Minister's Office last month.

The petitioner K Kathir Mathiyon, in his petition, alleged that those funds have been collected in the guise of supplementary charges and security surcharge, adding that the collection was done through emergency circulars without any approval of Parliament, which was illegal and amounted to playing fraud on millions of commuters.

It was an attempt to pass on the financial burden on the commuters after presenting a people friendly Railway Budget, the petitoner said.

Tatkal schemes, according to the petitioner, were a deliberate fraud on the commuters as the charges were imposed by deceptive means without any approval from the Parliament.

The petitioner has prayed to the apex court to nullify all administrative orders issued by the Ministry, levying such charges through back door without taking the Parliament into confidence.

According to the petitioner, the Pariamentary Standing Committee has already disapproved the practice of passing on additional burden on to the commuters without its approval. Parliament is being avoided by Mr Prasad for fear of being exposed as the government did not want to have any discussion regarding the propriety of such charges.

The apex court is hopeful that the Parliament would discuss the issue in the current session.

Mr Prasad, while presenting the Railway budget this year, had said railways would be having a net profit of one lakh crores when the present UPA Government completes its term, and also announced reduction in rail fares.

UNI SC GL DS1302

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