The CBI team also raided the residence of her younger brother Susant Pradhan in Bangalore. The search operations were conducted at Renubala’s younger brother Susant’s house in Aryabrata Colony in Jagannath Nagar at GGP colony area following a search order issued by the Patiala House Court in New Delhi. According to sources, the search operations that continued for about two hours had no corroborating evidence or documents establishing Renubala’s complicity in the scam. Meanwhile, Renubala told reporters in Bhubaneshwar that she would meet CBI authorities on Monday. JPN/Agencies
"I don't know anything about the LTC scam. I am going to Delhi on Sunday and will meet the CBI authorities on Monday," she said.
Six former and present MPs under CBI scanner
The CBI has registered six cases against sitting and former members of Rajya Sabha for allegedly filing fake inflated bills of their air travels for claiming reimbursement.
CBI sources said cases have been registered against three sitting MPs -- D Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Brajesh Pathak of BSP and Lalhming Liana of Mizo National Front--for allegedly submitting fake bills.
Former Rajya Sabha members JPN Singh (BJP), Mahmood A Madani (Rashtriya Lok Dal) and Renu Pradhan (Biju Janata Dal) too have been named as accused.
According to CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad, the MPs allegedly claimed full payment on companion air tickets from Rajya Sabha Secretariat using fake e-tickets.
The sources said MPs booked their tickets under an Air India promotional scheme where full fare economy class ticket passengers were entitled to have one ticket for their companion on nominal rates but submitted e-tickets of full fare for claiming reimbursement.
They said the difference of fare on companion ticket allegedly was a benefit to the concerned MP.
The sources said the case triggered from the interrogation of JD (U) MP Anil Kumar Sahani against whom a case was registered by CBI in November last year for allegedly presenting fake bills to claim the reimbursement.
They said Sahani had claimed that the practice was purportedly rampant among parliamentarians then why was he being singled out for the alleged offences.
This testimony triggered the agency to collect documents from the Rajya Sabha Secretary, the scrutiny of which showed instances where such fake inflated bills were submitted.
"In these six cases, there were repeated instances of submitting fake bills hence we registered cases against them. We have, so far, given benefit of doubt to instances where MPs have submitted just one such bill," an official said.
Sources said the FIR has alleged Madani presented nine such tickets for reimbursement worth Rs 5.80 lakh whereas actual payment to Air India was only Rs 6,000. Similarly, Lalhming Liana presented seven bills worth Rs 3.14 lakh for which only Rs 26,000 were actually paid to Air India.
They said it is alleged Singh presented six tickets worth Rs 1.97 lakh whereas actual payment was Rs 6,500, Bandopadhyay presented four tickets worth Rs 1.28 lakh with actual payment of Rs 2,000, Pradhan presented four bills worth Rs 1.62 lakh with actual payment of Rs 5,600 and Pathak presented eight bills worth Rs 2.20 lakh while Rs 10,000 were actually paid to Air India.
Three arrested in LTC scam, taken to Port Blair
CBI sleuths also took three persons from Odisha's Ganjam district on remand after producing them in a court here in the LTC scam in which travel reimbursement was allegedly claimed by some defence personnel at Port Blair through purportedly forged bills.
The three persons were identified as Dilip Behera and Pankaj Behera, brothers of a Navy man posted at Port Blair and Dipak Padhee, owner of a Berhampur-based printing press.
Behera brothers were running a travel agency in Berhampur. The fake bills were allegedly printed at Padhee's printing press.
The trio would be produced in a court at Port Blair.
Two days ago, CBI officials had raided a printing press in Berhampur from where fake bills for LTC were seized, as also computer hard discs, master printing plates.
The fake bills were allegedly used by some defence personnel to get LTC claims.
Probe into LTC scam based on frivolous complaint: Pathak
Meanwhile, Brajesh Pathak claimed innocence saying the probe is based on a frivolous complaint.
He, however, said he will cooperate with the investigators so that he can come clean.
"CBI officials came to my residence at 8 AM. I informed them that I am not entitled for LTA. I handed them over files relating to my travel...I will cooperate so that the truth can come out. It is a frivolous complaint," Pathak said.
He said he had been making payments to his travel agent by cheque and the details have been submitted to the CBI.
The CBI team also raided the residence of her younger brother Susant Pradhan in Bangalore.
The search operations were conducted at Renubala’s younger brother Susant’s house in Aryabrata Colony in Jagannath Nagar at GGP colony area following a search order issued by the Patiala House Court in New Delhi.
According to sources, the search operations that continued for about two hours had no corroborating evidence or documents establishing Renubala’s complicity in the scam.
Meanwhile, Renubala told reporters in Bhubaneshwar that she would meet CBI authorities on Monday.