Published: 02nd October 2020
Railway Protection Force arrests IIT Kharagpur alumnus for duplicating IRCTC website and selling tickets
By developing a specialised software, he helped lakhs of his customers book train tickets much faster than others on the Indian Railway Catering and Ticketing Corporation (IRCTC) portal
A 36-year-old unauthorised ticketing agent, a graduate of IIT Kharagpur, was arrested by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday for duplicating the IRCTC software which helped book tickets illegally. This followed a tipoff from intelligence officials in Pune. By developing a specialised software, he helped lakhs of his customers book train tickets much faster than others on the Indian Railway Catering and Ticketing Corporation (IRCTC) portal.
An FIR has been booked against him under Section 143 of the Indian Railway Act which deals with unauthorised carrying on of business of procuring and supplying railway tickets. According to RPF sources, the individual, a native of Maharashtra, had migrated to the City long ago. “He was running two parallel businesses at Basavanagudi, one dealing with Bitcoins and another was booking of railway tickets unauthorisedly,” said a top cop. His office had a database of 93,000 IRCTC login IDs, He had 4 lakh customers across the country.
Giving details, the cop said that the website has an option for auto fill-up of details so that time can be saved when it opens for Tatkal bookings at 10 am for AC class and 11 am for Sleeper Class. “The individual has developed a low-grade software and shared it with his customers so that they can fill up details on it and keep it ready and upload it the moment the site opens for bookings. For every ticket a customer books using his product, he charges Rs 30,” the cop said.
He has been doing this for the last three years. “He had been permitting his clients to use the software free for long. It was only from March that he decided to monetize it and made a business out of railway tickets,” the cop explained. Following the tip-off, summons was issued to him on Wednesday. The person arrested is the mastermind behind it and a larger group is at work. When contacted, IRCTC officials said they had no knowledge about the auto-fill feature or other technical details and said it was all controlled in Delhi.