A decade-old deal is investigated by CBI which include Air India and Indian Airlines acquiring 111 aircrafts, saddling the national carriers with losses. This deal was approved by the cabinet of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The new inquiries are adding to a list of scandals linked to PM's two successive terms in sectors including coal and telecom.
In an media report the civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that his department will fully cooperate with the investigation. "Whatever knowledge we have, we will cooperate with them," the minister said".
The CBI have many cases which include investigating allegations regarding buying planes for 70,000 crores or $10.8 billion. The cases are registered by Supreme Court and include three main cases and one preliminary. The investigating agency said that "The acquisition allegedly caused a financial loss to the "already stressed" national carrier".
In an media report Mr Praful Patel, who was Civil Aviation minister at the time of the purchases said "All decisions were multi-tiered and collective. The aircraft purchase order was cleared by an group of ministers (EGOM) headed by P Chidambaram and the merger was cleared by an EGOM headed by Pranab Mukherjee.
The UPA cabinet approved for the national carrier to buy 68 aircrafts from Boeing Co. In December 2005. And a year later, Indian Airlines signed up for 43 planes from Airbus SE. The two national carriers were later merged in 2007 to operate under the brand Air India.
The CBI said this investigation is important to know that the Company didn't give the profit to any private agencies.