Tag Archives: Prevention of Corruption Act

Three FIRs by CBI and how Air India went in the red

Lalit Shastri

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday, 29 May 2017, registered three cases (FIRs) and one Preliminary Enquiry against Air India, “unknown” officials of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and others on orders of Supreme Court of India in response to an SLP by Centre for Public Interest Litigation.

This SLP (Civil) [No. 25545 of 2012] had extensively quoted and enclosed the observations of the CAG, Report of Parliamentary Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture dated 21 January 2010 and the Report of Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings dated 12 March 2010 in respect of the issues mentioned in the FIR/PE registration report.

 

Praful Patel (a 2004 photo)

The moment he became the Civil Aviation Minister in 2004, Praful Patel spearheaded the decision to merge the the two airlines – Air India and Indian Airlines – and gave a huge order to purchase aircraft – both to Boeing as well as Airbus.

Of the eight Boeing 777-200LR acquired by Air India after Patel took over, five of these grossly under-utilised aircraft were sold to Etihad Airways in December 2013 as a part of the “financial restructuring” exercise.

The merger of the two Public sector airlines has been criticised continuously by those in knowledgeable cirlces as one profit making airline was merged with a loss making airline. The propelling idea behind this decision was that there would be a common infrastructure. In the end, neither the personnel policies, nor the engineering policies or the routes matrix gelled and nothing worked.

Air india went down due to the ill fated decision of the merger of two organizations that were not destined to be, coupled with many other wrong decisions of the earlier regime. Ofcourse gross mismanagement at the senior management levels of the company played its part in the rapid downward slide too, but isn’t appointing senior management functionaries the function of the governments? – Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India

There have been a spate of articles on air india recently. While the grim financial scenario cannot be denied or wished…

Posted by Ashwani Lohani on Saturday, May 13, 2017

Patel, in his capacity as Civil Aviation Minister, was sitting at the apex of the decision-making process when Air India became a customer of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and it came into service with lots of glitches. Of course, there were also guarantees , for example, if you don’t fly it for a certain number of hours we are supposed to compensate you. But whether or not the guarantee was used is a million dollars question.

On 11 January 2006, Air India announced an order for 68 jets – 8 Boeing 777-200LR, 15 Boeing 777-300ER, 18 Boeing 737-800 and 27 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. After the merger in 2007, Air India inducted the biggest member of the A320 family, the A321, to operate mainly on international short haul and medium haul routes. Simultaneously, Air India also leased the Airbus A330s to operate on medium-long haul international routes (ref: wikipedia).

Significantly, Boeing had offered the next generation of 787 but that was politely turned down on the plea that the Government of India procedures would take another about 4 years and the straight message to the aircraft company was that it should just supply what has already been ordered. In this context, it would be pertinent to note that Air India Board did not have the authority to take decisions, whereas a private player could promptly decide and place an order.

As a consequence of gross mismanagement and spate of irregularities, there is now a burden of about Rs. 50,000 crore on Air India. Unless the government writes this off, it will be very difficult to bail out the national carrier.

There is another big question: When the loss making Indian Airlines could be merged with Air India, why Kingfisher, an airline with 100 aircrafts that was flying both on domestic and important international routes, was allowed to collapse? This airline was going bad mainly because of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices and global recession. The government could have taken over Kingfisher, removed Vijay Mallya as chairman and merged it with Air India – given the fact that so many jobs and what not was involved. Air India was having only about half of the total fleet of aircraft that was at Kingfisher’s disposal.

While the previous UPA Government allowed Kingfisher to collapse, it went whole hog to save Jet Airways by closing down Air India’s lucrative international routes to favour Jet Airways. Even the time slot on the domestic sectors were allegedly approved to favour private carriers. According to insiders, all this was done at the behest of Praful Patel, known in political circles as the “Maharaja of Gondia”.

Praful Patel got Arvind Jadhav- a 1978 batch IAS officer, as CMD Air India in 2009. He was known to be a blue-eyed boy of RV Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Industries of Karnataka. Deshpande and Patel are related.

Air India Express a fallout of Vayudoot is another story…This airline is about to wind up as they are sending back their aircrafts which are on lease. All the pilots in this airline, who were on contract, have been absobed in Air India and are now flying the 787s.

CBI registers three FIRs against Air India and others

The first case has been registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of Indian Penal Code and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Air India, “unknown” officials of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and others to investigate the allegations relating to purchase of 111 aircraft for national airlines costing about Rs. 70,000 crore to benefit foreign aircraft manufactures. Such a purchase caused an alleged financial loss to the already stressed national carriers.

The second case has been registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of PC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988 against “unknown” officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India and 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 that the aircraft were leased even while aircraft acquisition programme was going on.

The third case has been registered under Section 120-B read with 420 of IPC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988 against “unknown” officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL) – the entity formed by the merger of Air India and Indian, 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.

 

Two year Rigorous Imprisonment to retired IAS officer K Suresh

Newsroom24x7 Staff

corruptionChennai: The Special Judge for CBI Cases, here has convicted K.Suresh, IAS., former Chairman of Chennai Port Trust and ex- Principal Secretary General Administration Department, Government if Madhya Pradesh, and sentenced him to undergo two years Rigorous Imprisonment with fine of Rs.10000.

CBI had registered a case on the allegations that Suresh while working as Chairman, Chennai Port Trust in the year 2009 had obtained sponsorship for his son for admission to BE(Civil Engineering) to the value of Rs.12 lakh in Anna University from Vijayashanti Builders with whom he had official dealings, without any consideration.

Vijayashanti Builders were running two Weigh bridges in the premises of Chennai Port Trust during that period.

A charge sheet was filed against Suresh before the Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai under Section 11 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. The Trial Court found Suresh guilty and convicted him.

Suresh, a 1982 batch IAS officer borne on the Madhya Pradesh cadre, was holding the post of Principal Secretary GAD in Madhya Pradesh prior to his retirement last year. In this capacity he was the supervising authority for the State Economic Offences Wing, the state government’s principal investigating agency against corruption. This despite the fact that he was himself accused of corruption and the CBI was prosecuting him under the anti-corruotion law. It speaks volumes of State government’s much proclaimed commitment against corruption.

The Government of India had accorded sanction on March 26, 2012 to prosecute the accused officer, who went ahead and filed a discharge petition taking the plea that Madhya Pradesh governmenr’s sanction was necessary to prosecute him. When the CBI court dismissed his plea, Suresh went to the Madras High Court which upheld the CBI court order ruling that no prior sanction from the cadre State was required to prosecute an IAS officer under the Prevention of Corruption case .

ESIC officer convicted, gets 4-year sentence in a bribery case

Newsroom24x7 Staff

cbiNew Delhi: The Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases in Bangalore has convicted N. Anand Kumar, former Deputy Director, ESIC, Sub- Regional Office at Peenya, Bangalore (North) and sentenced him to undergo four years simple imprisonment with fine of Rs.35,000 in a bribery case.

CBI had registered a case against Kumar under Sections 7 and 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on the allegations he had issued claim Notices to the complainant in this case in 2013 with exorbitant and illegitimate demands under false pretext to the tune of Rs. 9.5 million.

The complainant met the accused when he came to attend two Court cases filed by ESI during 2012 and 2013 and enquired about the orders of 19 February 2014 passed by him against his (complainant’s) company. Kumar responded by telling the complainant to go in appeal before the Director who can waive the demand. The accused also demanded a sum of Rs. 25000 from the complainant for closing all the issues and Court cases pending against his company. The complainant approached CBI and filed a complaint against the accused. CBI laid a trap and Kumar was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs. 25,000 from the complainant. A chargesheet was filed against the accused on 16 December 2014.

The Trial Court found the accused guilty and convicted him.

3-year Rigorous Imprisonment for a Naib Tehsildar and others

The Special Judge, CBI Cases, Panchkula (Haryana) has convicted and ordered 3-year Rigorous Imprisonment for Jai Pal Singh, ex-Naib Tehsildar, working in the Land Acquisition Office at Faridabad; Dhanpat Singh Ranga, the then Assistant District Attorney; Mahesh Chand Sharma, then Section Officer; Narsingh Dass, then Kanungo and one year RI to Yatinder Singh, Advocate with total fine of Rs.6,30,000 under Sections 120-B, 409, 420, 471 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) & 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) & 13(1)(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

CBI had registered a case on 2 March 2005 against those who have now been convicted. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana had transferred the Case to CBI which was earlier registered (FIR No.13/98, 15 December 1998) by the State Vigilance Bureau at Gurgaon on the allegations of defrauding the public exchequer of Rs.7,43,477.

After investigation, a charge sheet was filed on 16 October 2006 in the court of Special Judge, CBI cases at Panchkula in Haryana against Jai Pal Singh and others. Charges in this case were framed on 24 September 2007.

The Trial Court has acquitted two advocates, who were accused in this case.

CBI arrests Chief Yard Master in Bribery case

Newsroom24x7 Desk

cbiNew Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Chief Yard Master, Agra Cantt. Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.5,000/- from the Complainant.

Two years ago, the complainant was awarded a Railway contract for Loading and Unloading of Line Boxes of Guards. But the Complainant’s tender got cancelled due to illegal penalties getting imposed against him. The  Earnest Money, Performance Guarantee and Security Deposit all totaling to an amount of Rs.1,51,338/- deposited by him earlier, got seized.

The  Chief Yard Master allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs.30,000/-, out of which Rs.5,000/- as first installment was asked to be paid towards contract re-continual and release of  seized amount of deposit.

CBI laid a trap and caught the Chief Yard Master red handed, while demanding and accepting the 1st installment of bribe from the Complainant. The accused is being produced today in the Designated Court at Ghaziabad (U.P) and a case has been registered under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act,1988.