Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered three separate cases in connection with the alleged irregularities in purchase or hiring of 111 aircraft for national carriers that had cost about Rs 70,000 crore to Air India during the tenure of Praful Patel as the civil aviation minister, ANI reported. The CBI has registered cases against Civil Aviation Ministry official and Air India under 120B, 420 IPC and PC Act. In January, the Supreme Court of India had directed CBI to conclude the probe in the case by June, 2017.
CBI spokesperson R K Gaur told media persons that FIRs have been registered for offences of criminal conspiracy and corruption against unidentified officials of the civil aviation ministry and Air India. The cases relate to decisions taken by the the ministry during the tenure of the UPA causing a loss of “tens of thousands of crore” of rupees to the exchequer, Press Trust of India reported Gaur as saying. A preliminary inquiry was registered to probe the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India that also led to a loss of “tens of thousands of crore” of rupees, Gaur said.
As per a report by Press Trust of India, set of three FIRs has been lodged to probe alleged irregularities in the purchase of 111 aircraft, leasing of planes while acquisition process was still on, and giving up of profitable routes in favour of national and international airlines by Air India, the spokesperson said.