New Delhi, Jun 8 : NCP leader and former Civil Aviation Minister in UPA Government Praful Patel has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in next week in aviation scam, probe agency officials said here on Saturday.
The federal agency has summoned him to dispose in a case related to Airlines Seat Allocation Scam which was initiated by the agency in August 2017 on the basis of FIR registered by CBI against officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India and unknown private persons.
Mr Patel was summoned to probe agency on Thursday but he sought more time for disposing in this case through his advocate. Now he is likely to appear before ED on June 11.
The ED had earlier alleged that arrested aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar was in regular touch with Praful Patel while acting as a middle-man in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines which caused losses to national carrier Air India.
To avoid scrutiny and arrest, the lobbyist Deepak Talwar had fled the country. However, he was deported by the immigration authority of Dubai on January 31 this year and was subsequently arrested by ED.
“ Praful Patel needs to be put through revelations made by Talwar and evidence collected by the probing agency in pursuit of this case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)”, the agency officials said.
The investigation agency has recovered crucial emails implicating Praful Patel, the officials added.
"Investigation so far has revealed that Deepak Talwar has been engaged in liaison and lobbying with politicians, and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, other public servants and officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation for Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar for securing undue benefits for them”, the ED officials said.
He illegally managed to secure favourable traffic rights for these airlines during 2008-09 at the cost of the national carrier, Air India.
ED investigation had also revealed that in lieu of securing favourable traffic rights those airlines made payments to the tune of Rs 272 crore to Deepak Talwar during 2008-09. (UNI)