11-06-201911-06-2019 13:46:47 IST
2019-06-11T08:16:47.132Z11-06-2019 2019-06-11T08:16:38.142Z - - 20-09-2019
Praful Patel, The former NCP leader, and Civil Aviation Minister turned up for the second day before the Enforcement Directorate to answer the questions related to the losses suffered by Air India with respect to alleged multi-crore aviation scam.
The investigating officer of the case recorded Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Monday and the former Union cabinet minister of the UPA government was understood to have "cooperated" with the agency.
The case came up when a criminal complaint was filed by the ED for alleged irregularities occurred in fixing the air slots for international airlines which in turn led to the heavy losses by Air India, the national carrier. Even a case for purchasing of 111 air crafts for the national Air carrier during Patel's tenure is also under investigation.
The former in-charge of the civil aviation ministry was declared accused in the case. ED has already probed a number of senior management officials from the ministry as a part of this case.
The charge sheet so far declared that the investigation revealed that Patel is a dear friend of lobbyist Deepak Talwar. In response to which Patel told the media that he will be happy to cooperate with the ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation sector.
The charge sheet also declared that Talwar was the key person to finalize various communications addressed to Patel on behalf of Emirates and Air Arabia. He also benefited from undue favors from private airlines using his contacts. The agency has also accused that Talwar was engaged in lobbying with politicians, ministers, public servants, and officials in the civil aviation ministry for Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways in order to secure undue benefits for these airlines. Talwar was arrested by the ED early this year after he was deported from Dubai.
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