NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday registered a criminal case against unknown officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and unknown private persons to investigate the allegations relating to purchase of 111 aircraft for Air India worth Rs 70,000 crore “to the benefit of foreign manufacturers” during the UPA regime causing financial loss to the already stressed national carrier.
The agency also registered two more cases and a Preliminary Enquiry in connection with graft in the Civil Aviation Ministry during the UPA era.
The second case has been registered under IPC sections relating to criminal conspiracy and for violations under the Prevention of Corruption Act against unknown officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India, private companies and unknown others to investigate the allegations of leasing of large number of aircraft without due consideration, proper route study and marketing or price strategy. It was also alleged in the FIR that the aircrafts were leased even while aircraft acquisition programme was going on, the CBI said.
The third case has also been registered for criminal conspiracy and corruption against unknown officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India and other unknown private persons and companies to investigate the allegations for giving up profit making routes and profit making timings of Air India in favour of national and international private airlines causing a huge loss to the national carrier.
“A Preliminary Enquiry has also been registered against unknown officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation and unknown others to enquire into the allegations relating to the issue of merger of the two national carriers: Air India and Indian Airlines causing loss to the national exchequer,” the CBI said in a statement.
The agency’s cases come following orders from the Supreme Court issued on January 5 this year in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation through a Special Leave Petition (SLP). This SLP had extensively quoted and enclosed the observations of the CAG, Report of Parliamentary Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture dated January 21, 2010 and the Report of Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings dated March 12, 2010 in respect of the issues mentioned in the FIR/PE registered by the CBI on Monday.