NCP leader Praful Patel questioned by Enforcement Directorate for 8 hours in aviation scam, will appear again tomorrow: NCP leader Praful Patel on Monday was questioned by Enforcement Directorate for nearly 8 hours in connection with the multi-crore aviation scam. The Rajya Sabha member has been asked by the ED to complete his statement tomorrow. The former civil aviation minister has recorded the statement before ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Patel failed to appear before ED after the first summons and asked for an extension and appeared for questioning on Monday after the second summons was issued.
The ED has registered a criminal complaint against the Praful Patel for fixing air slots for international airlines which led to losses for Air India. Patel was in-charge of the civil aviation ministry between 2004 and 2011. As per chargesheet, Patel was close to corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, who was arrested early this year, when he was deported from Dubai. It has also reported that Deepak Talwar 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 to these airlines.
During 2008-09 at the cost of Air India, Talwar illegally secured traffic lights from these international flights where he captured all the payment of Rs 272 crore made by these airlines which is said to have caused considerable losses to Air India during 2008-09 as the latter lost passenger traffic, when Patel was the aviation minister in UPA-I regime. Talwar made payments through foreign bank accounts registered in the name of Talwar.