New Delhi: The CBI on Monday filed a chargesheet against corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar in connection with an aviation scam which allegedly led to losses for Air India.
The final report was filed before special judge Anil Kumar Sisodia against Talwar, deported from Dubai in January this year, and others for the offence punishable under Section 8 of Prevention of Corruption Act, besides other offences. The section deals with illegal gratification to influence a public servant.
Besides Talwar, who is currently in judicial custody in the case, the charge sheet also names his close aide Yasmeen Kapoor and Maya B Puri, Stone Travel Private Limited, Cedar Travels, Deepak Talwar & Associates and Asia Field Limited.
The court is likely to consider the matter on 1 October. The agency had on 26 July taken Talwar into custody inside the courtroom, moments after the judge dismissed his anticipatory bail application. He was later sent to judicial custody on 9 August.
The agency told the court on Monday that it may file supplementary charge sheet in the case since the probe was still going on.
According to the investigative agency, Talwar had acted as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, by making national carrier Air India give up profit-making routes and timings.
The alleged deals took place during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre.
The CBI had earlier told the court that it had to find out the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured the foreign airlines.
It said these officials, in conspiracy with other public servants, private domestic and foreign airlines, made Air India give up profit-making routes and timings in favour of national and international domestic and foreign private airlines.
This resulted in a huge loss of market share to the national carrier and led to pecuniary benefits to private domestic and foreign airlines, it said.
It said India held bilateral meetings with Dubai, Sharjah and Qatar after which there has been an increase in the seat entitlements for both the contracting countries and increase in points of call for foreign carriers.
Air India could not utilise its seat entitlement in the optimum capacity and despite a number of seats having been left unutilised after every bilateral, seats were increased to benefit the foreign Airlines, the CBI said.
The foreign carriers have been given more points of call whereas Indian carrier has only one, it added.
It stated further that the foreign airlines were exercising the benefits of 6th freedom traffic. It means they were carrying the traffics of the countries other than their own.
In the money laundering case related to the scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that in lieu of the above, entities directly or indirectly controlled by Talwar have received exorbitant amounts from Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia.
It had earlier submitted a chart of total $60.54 million received by the firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between 23 April, 2008 to 6 February, 2009.
Talwar was earlier arrested by the ED in the money laundering case and currently is in judicial custody. Talwar was booked by the CBI and the ED in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department has charged him with tax evasion.
Updated Date: Sep 23, 2019 17:13:33 IST