Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi posts fake petrol bill on Twitter, gets exposed by petroleum minister

Trying to score a political point over the fuel price, today senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi posted an image of a petrol pump bill. This is a normal printed bill, but with a catch, at the bottom of the bill, a special message is printed. The message says “If you want to reduce petrol price don’t vote Modi again”. Is the Sai Balaji Petroleum in Vikhroli, Mumbai doing such a campaign through its bills?

Singhvi is not the first person to post this on Social media. Actually, this image, which says it is an HPL dealer, has already become viral for the last several days. And it has been proved that the bill is fake, not real. As the tweet was already doing the rounds on social media, the petroleum ministry had asked HPCL to verify the matter. HPCL had already investigated the bill and found it to be fake. In a reply sent to Petroleum ministry on 8th October, the public sector oil marketing company had noted that:

  1. The name of the company is mentioned as HPL in the bill and not HPCL.
  2. There is no outlet by the name Sai Balaji Petroleum in Vikhroli, Mumbai
  3. The bill does not match the HPCL automation format.
  4. The bill shows customer name as ‘Vaibhav‘. But bills issued by petrol pumps don’t contain customer name, instead, they mention vehicle registration number.
  5. The bill also does not mention the HPCL logo, which is printed on all bills issued by HPCL outlets.

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The company also enclosed a real bill issued by an HPCL outlet for reference of the ministry.

On 10th October, Fact-checking site Social Media Hoax Slayer had posted a detail explanation of how the image is fake. The font sizes in the bill are different, which does not happen with bills printed by POS machines. They have determined that someone has taken a sample image of a bill available in websites of several POS machine vendors, and that image is manipulated using an image editing software. That is the reason why the bill says HPL dealer, as generally dummy names are used to prepare such samples, to avoid probable trademark issues.

The tweet by the Congress leader was spotted by Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and he slammed Singhvi for posting a fake image. He said that Congress has become desperate and they are trying to instigate people. He also said that press conferences by Congress have failed to achieve their objectives so the party has now resorted to rumour mongering with fake bills and wrong information.


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