In a perfect world, a man being fined for travelling without ticket won't be unusual. But in our VIP-obsessed country, if the law is indeed applied to a lawmaker, it's news. This rare act was carried out by railway staff here, when they penalised a Samajwadi Party MLA from Uttar Pradesh and his men for travelling on improper tickets.
Sitapur MLA Radhey Shyam and 16 of his men were in the Amarnath Express Mail from Jammu Tawi to Lucknow in the 2AC compartment when chief inspector Kawaljit Singh and traveling ticket examiner Jaswinder Ratti checked tickets. They found that four people accompanying the MLA had only general tickets while two were travelling on someone else's ticket. The MLA became directly accountable as the tickets were bought on the coupons he gets as a legislator.
"He underlined that he is an MLA, and tried to pressure us. But when we read the rules to him, he said he could even talk to the railway minister," said Ratti. Kawaljit added, "We talked to the higher authorities over phone and told them about the situation. We even made the MLA speak to the officers, who asked him to pay the fine to avoid more consequences." Senior TTE Amandeep Singh was also with the team. The MLA then told the staff that they could make their tickets up to Saharanpur, as "after that no one would dare ask him about tickets".
As the fine was imposed, the MLA tried to hand over some travelling coupons instead of cash. But the staff persisted, and the MLA and his men paid a fine of Rs 7,255. "As we did not have six seats in 2AC to adjust the men, we allotted them some seats in 2AC, and in 3AC and sleeper classes," said the officials.