GUWAHATI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has once again summoned former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, this time in connection with its money-laundering probe in an alleged aviation scam.
The ED has summoned Chidambaram to dispose before ED official on August 23 to record his statement in the ongoing probe in aviation scam.
The alleged scam is regarding a number of irregularities in the aviation sector, including the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines and the use of profitable routes by foreign airlines among others during the UPA regime.
The CBI has said that not only the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines had taken place amid irregularities; the purchase of 43 passenger planes had reportedly resulted in a Rs 1,000 crore profit for a Europe-based aviation firm.
Apart from that, there was surrendering of ‘profit-making’ airline routes and timetables of Air India to private airlines which again had caused ‘huge’ losses.
ED, in the same connection, had arrested aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, for its role in securing favourable traffic rights for private airlines during the UPA years between 2004 and 2011.
According to one report, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Indigo, Spicejet and Paramount Airways were given plum routes on the domestic front while Air India reportedly reduced its services along Mumbai-Dubai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-Doha.
In October last year, the ED registered multiple cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The cases are based on FIRs previously registered by the CBI. Both ED and the CBI have already questioned former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in June this year.
MNS chief gets ED summons
The ED has also summoned MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Unmesh Joshi, son of former CM and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, in the ongoing Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) scam.
The agency is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Co.