Praful Patel
Praful Patel

Ex-aviation minister denies involvement in Air Asia scam

ANI | Updated: May 30, 2018 17:55 IST

New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): Former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Wednesday rebuffed the reports of UPA government's involvement in the Air Asia clearance deal and said that the scam didn't happen during his tenure.
Patel told ANI, "I was not the minister when the Air Asia deal happened, so I have really no idea about this."
Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleged that the scam in the Air Asia clearance took place during the UPA regime and some officials of then civil aviation ministry were involved in it.
On Tuesday, the CBI booked Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes and others for allegedly giving bribe to the then civil aviation ministry and officials to change the rules of aviation and foreign investment to get international flying licenses in the year 2013.
The investigative agency also alleged that the AirAsia Group CEO lobbied with government servants for clearances, removal of existing 5/20 aviation rule and change in regulatory policies.
Under the 5/20 rule, a company needs a minimum of five years of flying experience and is also required to have 20 aircraft in their possession in order to become eligible for the license.
However, Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) Director Shuva Mandal issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that it was not involved in any wrong-doing and co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts.(ANI)