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Airbus deal probe: CBI examines former CMD of Indian Airlines

PTI 12 Jun 2014, 23:32:14 PM IST
New Delhi: CBI has examined former Indian Airlines Chairman Vishwapati Trivedi as witness in connection with alleged irregularities in a deal for the supply of 43 Airbus aircraft to the erstwhile national carrier.

Senior officials in the know of the development have confirmed that the statement of Trivedi, who was the then Chairman cum Managing Director, has been recorded.

They said other senior officials in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Indian Airlines have also been examined by the agency in the case.

“This is done as per procedure. Everyone who was part of the decision making process has been examined by the agency,” Trivedi told PTI over phone.

The agency has also decided to record the statement of Kiran Rao, Executive Vice-President Airbus, who was part of the deal signed during the tenure of Trivedi as CMD.

Sources said orders for sanctioning the visit of the team headed by a Superintendent of Police have been issued and the team might fly by next week to London to record the evidence.

“Airbus is cooperating with the investigation and cannot say more at this time,” Justin Dubon, Head of Global News at Airbus, had told PTI last week.

The sources said that after nearly a year-long long probe, CBI has felt the need to examine senior executives of Airbus about some crucial points which have surfaced during the investigation in the case in which senior officials of the erstwhile Indian Airlines are also accused along with Airbus.

CBI had registered a case against French company Airbus Industries and seven officials who held senior positions in Indian Airlines, which was later merged with Air India.

The sources said the then officials, including Deputy Managing Director, Director (planning), Director (finance), Functional Director (engineering), General Manager (engineering) and two Deputy General Managers one of whom is now posted in the vigilance wing, are accused in the case. At the time of filing of FIR, Airbus had denied any wrongdoing and refuted allegations.

The agency had concluded its preliminary enquiry in the matter in 2012 and sought the permission of the Civil Aviation Ministry to prosecute the officials in the case which was given only in 2013, CBI sources said.