New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): I will be happy to cooperate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to help them understand the complexities of the aviation sector, said former Union Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Sunday.
The law enforcement agency earlier in the day issued summon to Patel, asking him to appear before the agency on June 6 in connection with the airline seat allotment scam case during his tenure.
Talking to ANI, Patel said: “The matter pertains to bilateral agreements for the exchange of flying rights between two governments where any private individual has no role to play.”He said that traffic rights to foreign airlines were granted by their respective countries and not by the Government of India.
“Flying rights are equal for both the respective countries. This policy has been in practice for the past 60 years or more and till date irrespective of any government,” added Patel.
Stating further, Praful, who is also a Nationalist Congress Party leader, said: “This issue has also been examined in great details by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which says that ‘the liberalised policy towards bilateral entitlements benefitted Indian traveller considerably in terms of choices and lower tariffs.””Moreover, the CAG report does not point out any loss incurred by the exchequer and has not indicated any government functionaries or pointed out any lacunae in the process,” he said.
Earlier on March 30, the law enforcement agency had filed a charge sheet against the accused corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, in which the name of the former minister had also come up.
The agency in its charge sheet had alleged that Talwar was in touch with Patel.
“Talwar finalised various communications on behalf of Emirates, Air Arabia to be addressed to then Minister of Civil Aviation Praful Patel,” Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) DP Singh, appearing for the agency, told Special CBI Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj on May 1.
Talwar was extradited by Dubai authorities on January 30 along with Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena. The ED had alleged that Talwar was involved in cases related to corporate lobbying.
Talwar is accused of facilitating the dispersal of profit making routes of Air India to private airlines using his contacts. (ANI)
Published at Sat, 01 Jun 2019 15:55:47 +0000