`Gallantry winners misusing sops given to them`
The Centre may review the policy of extending privileges to gallantry award winners for air and rail travel and other benefits.
New Delhi: The Centre may review the policy of extending privileges to gallantry award winners for air and rail travel and other benefits, a move that comes in the backdrop of allegations against Team Anna member Kiran Bedi that she fudged her airfare invoices.
The Centre is concerned over "misuse" of freebies given to gallantry award winners, a senior government official said.
"This is a question of moral turpitude. One has to think over it. In the government, we may have to think over the privileges offered to gallantry award winners if the freebies are being misused. I think the time has come," the official said.
The benefits are provided by various government departments and ministries, including civil aviation and railways.
It has been alleged that former IPS officer Bedi used her gallantry medal to get 75 per cent discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from organisers who invited her to speak at various fora.
Officials said there may not be complete withdrawal of privileges but a stringent mechanism would be put in place to stop its misuse and ensure that only the actual gallantry award winners get the benefits after producing proper documents.
Each year more than a hundred police and defence personnel are awarded gallantry awards in different categories.
Apart from other benefits, the award winners are entitled to free travel in Railway AC two tier coach with a companion for unlimited time and 75 per cent concessions in travel in Air India planes.