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Updated: October 20, 2011 16:36 IST

Air ticket fare saved for NGO: Kiran Bedi

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Former IPS officer and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
Former IPS officer and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Already plagued by internal dissensions, Team Anna plunged into yet another controversy on Thursday with allegations against Kiran Bedi that she charged her hosts full fare on air tickets while availing discounts but the activist claimed there was “no personal” gain.

Allegations were levelled against Ms. Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, that she used her gallantry medal to get 75 per cent discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from the organisers who have invited her to the function.

It was also alleged that she claimed business class fare even when she was travelling in economy class.

Reacting to the allegations, Ms. Bedi told PTI, “business class travel is part of the invitation/entitlement from the event organisers/corporates I’m asked to speak at. Travelling economy is a choice despite entitlement is to ensure that savings remain with the NGO”.

“(There is) no personal gain here. Sorry to disappoint detractors trying real hard to find a smoking gun. However, I accept this kind of coverage as a part of the challenges which being in public life poses,” she said adding the money “saved” went to NGO India Vision Foundation run by her.

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Can't say she was ignorant, she is an ex. IPS officer. She must have known what she was doing is wrong. Doing anything as long as its good is applicable only for movies and not in real life. I am sure, if this was done by her sub ordinates while is service, she would have initiated departmental action them.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: Oct 26, 2011 at 17:04 IST

The govt.must restrict concessions to gallantary award winners.Say concession in air travel only thrice in a year and so on.
What Kiran Bedi has done is wrong.She has to be careful.

from:  babu
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 08:59 IST

Shame on Kiran Bedi for derailing the movement. She is a serial
offender. Before her current anti politician stance, in the 2009
elections she wanted to contest on a Congress ticket from Amritsar. When
denied she approached the BJP for a ticket from New Delhi parliamentary

Her defence is ridiculous and borders on the bizarre. Like Caesars wife
she should be above suspicion.

from:  Mathew
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 06:57 IST

Good intentions, wrong route.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 01:15 IST

if raja donate his fund from 2gscam to mrs. bedi's ngo.... is team anna oppose him?

from:  JIJI JOSE
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:44 IST

One of the reasons why we Indians fail to tackle problems like corruption because of our habit of justifying corruption (or other wrong deeds) when it concerns our family (or people we like). This 'robin hood' defence by Ms. Bedi (a former IPS officer) is hilarious to say the least. There can be no double standards or double speak on moral issues. Perhaps in their ignorance (or arrogance), they have taken the support of people for granted and seems to be in a perpetual state of self-denial. By frantically justifying all the wrong doings of its team members while throwing stones at others, hazare & others are losing credibility faster than anybody could have imagined.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:42 IST

Can't read too much comments but in my opinion it is too easy to prove each and every work or activity as wrong after it is done. Allegations on Madam Kiran Bedi are nothing but attack on Team Anna and its members to divide them and practice of Congress to divert the mind of public from eradication of corruption and congress party.

from:  Bhupinder Singh
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 12:58 IST

During 1977, when I was working as a lecturer in one of the universities in India, one of the faculty members was kicked out from the university for showing financial irregularities. He traveled in second class by train but claimed first class fare from the university. During that time, there was rare practice of submitting the tickets to the university because it was argued that the ticket was collected by the TT. The Finance Officer of the university suspected his claim reimbursement amount and he secretly inquired from the railways whether the faculty member had actually traveled in first class or not. If Dr Kiran Bedi would have done similar practice while serving in Government, what would had been the actions of the government? Certainly, this is a misconduct. How can one generate and submit a false invoice claim for business class ticket when she had in fact traveled in economy class and that too at a discounted ticket.

from:  Dr PL Joshi
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 09:57 IST

Many of those who have commented on thia article say that those activists who are fighting against corruption should not have any complaints of financial impropriety against them. One wonders whether they would also say, as they should, that our rulers should also not have any complaints of corruption against them. If they do, they should be asking the Manmohan Singh government to resign from office.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 06:00 IST

Payment towards travel charges is a reimbursement of actual expenses incurred irrespective of the class entitled to travel. It can not be a source of profit. Ms. Kiran Bedi is guilty and has no place in Team Anna.

from:  Vellaichamy
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 00:32 IST

I take Kiran Bedi's explanation. Its certainly not for personal gain. Otherwise why would she reject comfort of business class & travel in economy class. As we all know economy class is not a fun. One can't stretch his/her legs even. But yes Team Anna should be careful. A corruption is corruption. Whether its for personal gain or not. People get wrong message. Indeed I am very much with Team Anna. They are only hope left to India.

from:  pooja
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 00:23 IST

Common guys, when you are paying Rs 100 for my travel, I will travel with less comforts for Rs 80 and save 20 for my family. How come this is wrong.

from:  Venkat Reddy Uppala
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 16:46 IST

Under the CCS(Conduct) Rules and CCS(CCA) Rules and All India Service Rules, any act of " moral turpitude " attracts major penalty of dismissal from service. Even in a case where a Govt. servant claims false TA bill ( irrespective of amount involved ), he/she is covered under the definition of "moral turpitude" and is liable to be proceeded against under the above rules and dismissed from service. Ms Bedi knew the rules very well and still flouted the same deliberately. She is getting Govt. pension which enjoins her to maintain utmost integrity. Rather than admitting the fault, she is giving a laughable and untenable justification! Hail anti-corruption crusador!

from:  Parminder Singh
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 16:44 IST

Hang on dear readers... again we have become a prey to the plans of the politicians. With no comments in support of Bedi's act, think for a moment, by suddenly pointing swords around the necks of one after another of Team members, and we so called literate crowd commenting on, is only going to weaken the strong hold if at all created by all this movement. Leave aside individual misgivings, see the noble cause and do not lose momentum. If for the moment considering Bedi's act is unlawful(which it is too), then do you have any other person/ plans to route out politicians who have swindled tonnes of crores of our / your money...think about raising this issue above bar unnecessarily(much to the expectations of crooked power bearers) we are becoming weaker and weaker.. lets move on.. look at the big picture do not act suicidal

from:  Krish
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 15:10 IST

It is very interesting to read all the comments. Half of them say: government is out to discredit Team Anna. The the other half say she should not have done it. Her justifications for her actions (submitting wrong bills and claiming higher amounts of money for her NGO's benefit) is not right. By analyzing it thus, I am not discrediting her work in the IAC. However, she cannot justify her wrongdoings as someone else trying to discredit her. She discredited herself through such questionable actions. Not having personal gain is not enough justification for doing the wrong thing.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 14:25 IST

Kiran Bedi is running the NGO and by trying some gain for the NGO she is trying to accumulate wealth by this means of untruth and wrong ways. She should stop this politics. WE have seen enough people like her in the past. Lets leave the general public at the destiny and mercy of all corrupt people around us.

from:  Sudhanshu
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 14:00 IST

I am very sad and disappointed at the recent series of events centering around the Lokpal movement.Aam-Admi's hope, aspirations and enthusiasm seems to die down as day passes and propaganda war heats up amongst the stakeholders.The mortal fear that government intelligentsia and unsavory political elements are trying hell to wipe out the movement and root out any future reformation seem to be a reality.This again would one day give way to violent Naxal type armed uprising threatening our national integrity.The media needs to play a significant role to keep tempers at controllable level and put our patriotism strong at the core.

from:  Md Ismile
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 13:06 IST

Ms.Bedi should avoid hypocracy.We like her for what she had done during her tenure as a policewoman, but anti-corruption of convenience is not the way forward. Everybody makes mistakes, even the great Mahatma made mistakes but only his admission and him seeking salvation through Truth made him the Great Mahatma.I hope we learn and practice the same.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 12:42 IST

It is obvious that some people are working overtime to pick holes and discredit Anna's movement. Anna's team is under a scanner - and their present and past activities would be probed by the vested interests. The objective is to sap the energy of Anna's team and ensure that they spend more time in defending themselves than taking the public causes of corruption. Having said that, Kiran Bedi could have avoided this moral mis-judgement.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 12:41 IST

I am very much pained to see the comments of Ms Bedi.I had highest regard for her boldness and integrity. But sorry to see this incident and also the defense.She must first of all know that she was a police officer after her IPS selection. She served in very imp. posts in Govt.She is aware of service rules and also the law of the land. In spite of this the defense stand taken by Ms Bedi is unfortunate. The words like sorry, detractors, etc are very common in govt. language to defend indiscipline ,misconduct,etc. Being in Anna team Ms Bedi should have been above board and behaved responsibly when she represents the CIVIL(I think it means CIVILISED)society to fight against corruption and corrupt practices in Indian administration.With this kind of double/split/dual mindset Mr.Anna's mission cannot be achieved."The difference has gone to her NGO" is still shocking as it only proves that Ms Bedi is guilty of corruption and also corrupt practices in this case.

from:  Raju M.R.
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 12:19 IST

I think this entire issue is unjustifyingly being blown out of proportion. If I go on to deliver a private talk, like she goes(or for that matter, any motivational speaker or person goes), I'll have my conditions with organisers. I may avail a discount somewhere, but I'll ask the organisers to pay me in full, o/w its their decision they may choose not to invite me. I may choose to spend the balance amount in any way I want(as long as I am paying the taxes).
Now having said that, lets assume for a moment that she is guilty in this case somehow(assume!). Fine. My take is 1)this movement is not a person-centric(even not anna!). 2)at the time we are speaking, it appears that, there is whole gamut of govt officials working to find out, any, i repeat-any kind of small/big information to malign and tarnish the image of people who were courageous enough to stand before a corrupt and stupid regime. 3)do not loose your trust/faith in yourself or the movement, no matter who goes out/who comes in.

from:  Ashutosh
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 11:12 IST

It is disheartening to know that the so called civil society too is no different from our corrupt politicians(except for a few).The team which had lectured about 'transparency' is not very tranparent itself. One of the readers posed a good question... Why can't Bedi transfer the excess money to the account of the NGO invited her,if she doesn't have any personal gain? Does Bedi has any answer for this question?

from:  Rajendra
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 10:55 IST

It is wrong to claim which not incurred the expenses. kiran bedi is absolutely wrong to claim in this manner. as mahatma gandhi said all preachings and change should start from home. she is liable for punishment.the NGOs should come under lokpal.kudos to the journalism.

from:  Trivikrama Raju
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 10:28 IST

It is not commonsense to raise this type of questions when comparatively she is a clean woman and extraordinary person .As a citizen of our poor and underdeveloping country still there are some people like Anna, Hegde, Bhushan and Bedi. We must feel proud of them.

from:  Konda Lakshminarasaiah
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 07:48 IST

100% honesty is a luxury which very few people can afford. The present day society compels people to become corrupt. What Kiran Bedi is accused of is corrupt practice but majority of public servants do these things regularly. In case it was done prior to her association with team Anna then she should be excused and if it was done during her association then it reflects on the power of greed which makes people corrupt if there is a likely hood that she will not be caught.

from:  S. Vatsya
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 06:18 IST

Guys, these are attempts of government and Media just to destabilize the Anna movement, I beg each one of you. this is the high time we should be unite and we should not let the momentum down. Government and Media tried their best to put Anna moment down they lost in that, Now government and even all political parties and few News Media sponsoring these news for simple reason which every one Knows they don't want to shut their business. If corruption is out of this country, No political party can run and ultimately there wont be any hot news for Media also. We are just fighting for our second freedom. Freedom against corruption, think and recall how cases was laid agains Babuji, recall how many of our Grand parents died in British Jail, this is nothing guys.. One final thing for my beloved Politicians Dont even dream that breaking Team Anna will end this war.. Friends..We have miles to go before our sleep ( Death ).

from:  Padmanaban Sambandan
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 04:40 IST

We are not talking about politicians here.The person under question is Kiran bedi who as an erstwile Govt,servant has charged in excess of what she is eligible.Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not ok.Her clarification demeans her.

from:  kirubakaran
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 02:26 IST

I think the method of collecting money is wrong, rather she can charge like celebrity to attend a show. I have gone through this entire comment section. I have few question for all commenters: 1. If Ms. Bedi was corrupt officer why our Govt. has given her the gallantry award? 2. When any organizer paid the inflated Invoice, without checking the ticket? Are they fool or they have made this trap for Ms. Bedi on behalf of politician? 3. All of you are asking for NGO should be under lokpal well, why Govt is not publishing the list of NGO in Internet or in Newspaper to whom they have funded and list of the executive of that NGO, so that everybody could know about the project and cost of the project, but Govt. never do that because most of the NGO run by the politician.
Have you ever asked them for that? why not? You only know the NGO of Baba Ramdev, Anna, Kejriwal or Ms. Bedi? 4. Why Air India will provide the discount to the politician, award winner in their ticket?

from:  Shiv Shankar
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 02:12 IST

Ms. Bedi's explanation that the NGO's paying the bills knew what she was doing. The highest court of the land should take a note of this and release Mr Raja with honour as his bribe givers also were very happy giving him bribe and they didn't complain! She was a govt servant and she should know that such acts are serious enough ground for their dismissal from service.

from:  B Thakur
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 01:53 IST

You have to give it to her. At least she has the audacity to defend the indefensible. Trying to be some kind of a modern day robin hood? but in a different avatar - robbing from the poor NGOs and giving it to your NGO? LOL!! I am surprised that people bent backwards to make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to politicians and bent forward to make a molehill out of a mountain when it comes to 'Team Anna'. What ever 'Team Anna' does should be 'right'.

from:  Gopa Kumar S
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 00:55 IST

If Kiran Bedi has been transparent with her hosts about her travel in Economy class, then its OK, If the host is not aware of this, then its cheating.

from:  Sreenivasa Reddy
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 00:36 IST

The way things are revealing, which are affecting Team Anna's members look like the politicians are throwing their ill-gotten money to mine the faults and also tring it physically and it is in bad taste. Whatever it maybe with Anna's team, corruption in India should be tackled from roots and success of Team Anna is not due to a bunch of team mates but whole of the population of India behind the struggle.

from:  Sesha
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 23:34 IST

LOKPAL crusaders have a set of rules for themselves, and a diff set for everyone else(read CORRUPT). As a responsible person she could have asked the corporates for a straight donation for the amount she saves by travelling second class.
as the saying goes those who are living in glass houses.

from:  Aron
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 23:21 IST

With both the means and ends not justifying the cause, the euphemistic defence of Ms.Kiran Bedi, sadly lacks credibility.It runs contrary to their avowed mission of nailing corruption,as the bud is spared unnipped. It all starts with such modicum of dilution, that ultimately ends up with corruption.

from:  C.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 23:16 IST

People can't expect this answer from Kiran Bedi who is an ex police officer. The Anna team members like Bhushan, Arvind and Kiran Bedi lost their moral ground in their fight against corruption. They declare themselves as representatives of people movement against corruption. Anna should remove these leaders from his team or should not allow them to speak on behalf of Anna's anti corruption movement.

from:  George
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 21:29 IST

The government's stooges in politics and in the media are out to discredit the Anna panel. But the patrons of the likes of Raja and Kalmadi cannot escape in the long run from the long arms of the law through these tactics. That is for sure.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 21:24 IST

Now that Kiran Bedi has faulted on her bills these are conclusions.
1. What all she did so far is nullified
2. Politicians have a right to continue corruption
3. India need not change.

from:  Sen
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 20:26 IST

If such excess claim had taken place when in Govt. service, discilinary action would have been taken. The excess money received, how it is utilised is not the point, It is an irregularity and has to be dealt as per regulations. Bedi has money to give to the charity, why do such thing?

from:  yashwant potnis
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 20:07 IST

Politicians are eating public money equivalent to 100's of planes.
Ruling party is not taking action on that. She saved only a difference
of Economy fair and business fair for public service, ruling party is
counting peanut amounts.
Kiran Bedi needs to be appreciated for this, as she is saving money
for public service by reducing her comfort by traveling in Economy
service instead of Business Class.

But ruling party members are travelling in Private Jets with public

Already name spoiled ruling party does not earn good name by trying to
spoil names of Social Activists against them.

from:  A Murali Krishna
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 19:51 IST

Mrs. Kiran Bedi was a senior police officer. During her service period also she has claimed money more than actual spent. This act itself falls under indiscipline and liable for action by department. Her pension and all other benefits require review for appropriate action. The awards and facilities connected with that since tainted need to be taken back.
So far deceiving other non government organization and body are concerned, she got no right to say that excess charged amount is in trust/ foundation . What legally she can not claim is illegal amount and remains illegal and can not get legal even if she puts that amount in some Gods donation box.
We ask government to take action immediately stopping her pension and other benefits and taking back that gallantry award on the basis of which she was fooling people. It shows Team Anna fools everybody.

Happy Diwali Massage : Janeu Chodo Bharat Jodo

from:  D.D. Raut
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 19:01 IST

Kiran Bedi is justifying by saying that organisers knew it. But, it's Air India who has been losing money because of giving 85 percent discount to Kiran Bedi on account of a gallantry award. So, how does it matter whether the organizers knew it or not.

In many cases Kiran Bedi charged full fare to NGOs, which themselves are non-profitable. So why didn't Kiran Bedi leave the money with the inviting NGO itself? After all, even the inviting NGO must have been working for a social cause. But Kiran Bedi preferred to bring the money from the poor inviting NGO to her own NGO.

Kiran Bedi did it, even while she was an IPS officer.

Probably, that's why they don't want NGOs to be under Lokpal.

from:  Ashutosh Kumar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 18:51 IST

Those who are making these claims are so clean, why don't they simple come in front and make these claims.
Its unfortunate that todays journalism is actually behaving like movies, where so call "Anonymous" informers are trying to become news maker without any credentials and our news media is happy to support.
Oh, I forgot, "Anonymous news makers" are not anonymous to news media after all.
Please stop highlighting these cheap news articles. And do some actual journalism.

from:  Vinay
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 18:42 IST

It is even ridiculous to choose this particular piece as a news of the day to appear
in the paper. Someone invited for a program has a right to place her rights,
demands and needs to the host and the later if agrees should be of no hassle (as
long as the rights are not over stretched, demands are unrealistic and needs are genuine) .
It is perfect and an understood practice to demand for a particular amount and
not use the full amount for the travel but have other non selfish intentions like my
eligibility is for a business class ticket but I prefer to take along another person (not
of the family &kin) and travel by a economy class.
Mrs. Bedi has rightly articulated that this is an trick to subvert the whole process
and sabotage an uprise that is much awaited and needed for the nation -

from:  Robert
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 18:20 IST

The act of Ms.Kiran Bedi may be legally correct but morally wrong. A person who fights against corruption should practice honesty in every action.

from:  Balaqsubramanian A
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 18:09 IST

I don't take the justification of Ms. Kiran Bedi. She gave the money earned through inflated invoices to the NGO run by her, so no personal gain. What a joke ?

from:  K.B.Senthilkumar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 17:01 IST

Ms. Bedi's personal integrity notwithstanding,in view of the ever increasing instances
subtle and crude attacks including physical ones against the members of Team Anna, she
could have been more circumspect and transparent in such matters. Would it not have
avoided the present controversy, if she had arranged with the host for the payment of the
economy class fare to her and donation of the balance amount out of her entitlement to the
NGO concerned?

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 17:00 IST

I don't think Mrs Kiran Bedi has done any thing wrong. At least we need to ask the NGOs who she billed whether they were comfortable with this arrangement. If they say no, we are not, that when we gave her the money, it was for actual expenses, then her explanation will be found wanting.

It is a pity really, this whole business.

from:  Malthi
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 16:56 IST

If submission of inflated bills is not corruption then madam Bedi, please tell me your definition of corruption. How can you justify that you can charge more than what you have spent by raising a bill with inflated amount? As far as my knowledge of law of the land goes, if any other public servant had been caught doing even half of what you are reported to have done, law would have taken its course by now. Raising false and inflated bill, (how so ever pious the purpose of doing so may be) is considered as misconduct and dishonesty as per the settled law of our country and invites dismissal from the public service besides penal action. If an employee of a private organization had done this he would have been summarily dismissed from service and held liable for cheating and financial misconduct. However, my country has different rules for team Anna.

from:  Rajiv Sharma
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 16:44 IST
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