Friday, August 17, 2012

NEWS | Former Indian Airlines chief Sunil Arora had complained about Praful Patel, aide

Former Indian Airlines wrote to the then cabinet secretary B K Chaturvedi in May 2005 complaining that he and the IA board were being pressured by then civil aviation ministerIn an unprecedented whistleblowing act, former Indian Airlines chief Sunil Arora wrote to the then cabinet secretary B K Chaturvedi in May 2005 complaining that he and the IA board were being pressured by then civil aviation minister Praful Pateland his OSD to take financially damaging and commercially unviable decisions.

In his May 28, 2005, letter, Arora listed the decisions on which the board was overruled: purchasing more jets than required, disallowing IA to fly on viable routes to make way for other operators and, even "changing the seating configuration" to favour a particular aircraft manufacturer.

Two Lok Sabha MPs, Prabodh Panda (CPI) andNishikant Dubey (BJP) have now approached the CVC for a probe into Arora's allegations, saying the government has failed to act.

"I would like to place before you a series of events and certain directions given to me by my immediate superior officer and the minister of civil aviation which have a vital bearing on certain critical decisions being taken in Indian Airlines and Air India... I have been constrained to write in detail to be able to explain the nuances of the verbal directions, the infirmities in the subsequent decisions taken and my consequent sense of unease in the matter," Arora wrote.

He also expressed apprehension over the consequence of his action. "Sir, kindly pardon my impertinence but I implore you to share the contents of this communication only with the Prime Minister... I would not have taken the liberty of making such a suggestion but for the fact that like every mortal, I fear for my personal and family safety."


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