Sunday, June 14, 2020

Senior DGCA official who took Air India salary likely to be let off scot free

Mumbai: National carrier Air India is unlikely to take action in its own version of Anamika Shukla scam, most notably the case involving the current Chief Flight Operations Inspector (CFOI) posted with the Indian civil aviation regulator who drew salary from Air India for two years, despite not being employed with the airline.

The said CFOI was an Air India joint manager till January 2017, when he joined the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on deputation. Though he was put on the DGCA payroll, he continued to collect Air India salary, every month for two years till the Times of India (TOI) exposed the double salaries fraud in a report it published on January 11, 2019.

Thereafter Air India carried out an internal inquiry and in June last year requested the director-general of civil aviation to relieve the said CFOI from his post so that he could be brought back to Air India for an investigation. However, the director general did not relent to Air India’s request.

Now Air India has a second chance. ``The CFOI’s contract with DGCA ends on June 30. According to the government norms, the DGCA can extend his tenure only if Air India gives the CFOI a no-objection certificate,’’ said an aviation source. With AI’s NOC, the CFOI can remain in the DGCA for another five years, thus putting an end to whatever possibility of an investigation. ``Certain officials in AI are keen to give that NOC,’’ the source said.

The Times of India sent a questionnaire to Air India asking whether the airline will permit the CFOI to extend his contract with the DGCA. Air India spokesperson sought time to respond to the query, but after a week said, ``we wouldn’t like to make any comment on this issue’’.

Said a senior airline official: ``It appears that Air India has decided to let him extend the tenure by another five years, by which time the case will die down. The cash-strapped airline surviving on tax payer’s money apparently doesn’t care about losing crores, but misappropriation of government funds is a serious offence. Action should be taken against two parties, the CFOI and also the officials in Air India who conspired to keep the salaries going though he was no longer with the airline.’’
13/06/20 Manju V/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment