Have you tried booking a ticket on Tatkal rail quota through the IRCTC website? Have you ever
successfully secured a confirmed berth? Even after doing everything right, the answer is no? Do you
know why? The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested its software programmer for developing an illicit software to subvert the railways Tatkal reservation system, allowing hundreds of tickets to be booked in one go. Based on a tip-off, the CBI arrested the assistant programmer, Ajay Garg, and his accomplice Anil Gupta, who allegedly sold the software to the agents. About a dozen agents in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur and Mumbai, who were using the software, have been identified.
In all, 15 people have been arraigned in the FIR. Among them are Garg’s wife, his parents, his sister
and brother-in- law for their alleged involvement in the conspiracy.
Passengers looking to book Tatkal tickets would reach out to travel agents after their failed attempt
to secure a berth. Accordingly, they would pay the premium to the agent. The travel agents would
then approach Garg and his men to further book the required number of berths through the fake
website. These travel agents would charge anything between Rs 50 and Rs 5,000 as commission
from the passengers for a confirmed ticket. Having worked with the IRCTC as a developer from 2007-2011, Garg had full knowledge of the functioning of the website along with the loopholes and vulnerabilities in the software. This helped him loot the Railways and the common man alike.
“It was also alleged that the accused collected money via his accomplice Gupta for the use of such
software by certain booking agents and had amassed huge wealth. We have got his custody for interrogation.
The accomplice was arrested in Jaunpur and he is being brought to Delhi on a transit
remand,” said the official. Gupta allegedly maintained multiple bank accounts for receiving payments from the agents and transferred funds to Garg in Bitcoins and through the “hawala” channel to evade detection. According to the CBI, "Raids in 14 places including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaunpur have led to the recovery of almost Rs 89.42 lakh in cash, gold jewelry estimated at Rs 61.29 lakh including two gold bars weighing 1kg each, 15 laptops among other equipment. The accused were today produced before the court and have been sent to police custody till January 5.