Aviation News

Flying schools demand CBI probe in DGCA corruption case, Infra News, ET Infra

Flying training organisations have sought an investigation of corruption charges against top DGCA official Anil Gill, by the Central Bureau of Investigation or Enforcement Directorate.

ET had reported on Sunday that Gill, director in the flying and training division of DGCA has used his position to take three aircraft as bribe from flying schools and in turn leasing the planes to other schools for favourable audits on a monthly lease rental of Rs 90 lakh each. Gill has denied the charges.

Association of Flying Training Organisation in a letter to civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia has said that the allegations against Gill are of financial nature, it demands an enquiry by an external agency rather than the vigilance department of DGCA.

“The matter involves individuals and entities existing in several states. It requires the ability to source banking and financial details of the individuals and entities against whom the allegations have been levelled which the vigilance department of DGCA and Ministry of Civil Aviation may not be able to do,” Harsha Vardhan Singh, president of the association wrote in a letter to Scindia and reviewed by ET.

Singh is also the Managing Director of Falcon Aviation.

“Matters of benami transactions require forensic analysis of records and retrieval of deleted emails. Only an agency like CBI has the ability and human resource to deal with such cases,” the letter added.

Company records like annual reports and balance sheets showed that two companies called Blue Throat Aviation and Sabres Corporate Solutions Limited which has Gill’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law as directors have leased at least two aircraft to Redbird Aviation. The aircraft VT-EUC, VT-AAY are Cessna aircraft which are popular among flight training schools.

ET has reviewed the balance sheet of these companies which shows these aircraft as their assets. The Certificate of Registration of the aircraft shows the subsequent leasing of these aircraft to the flight schools.

A senior official of the civil aviation ministry said that according to guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission, the DGCA first needs to do an internal enquiry. “ Following that, if the DGCA feels that it merits external investigation, it will be referred to CBI, ” the official said, adding that suitable action should be taken against Gill, if found guilty.

As of now, Gill has been transferred from his position and an investigation has been started against him by the vigilance wing of DGCA.

India’s flying schools have been rocked by a series of accidents over the last few years, the reason for which has been primarily lack of maintenance of aircraft or not adhering to DGCA laws.

Five aircraft of Redbird Aviation, the largest flight school, have crash landed in the last six months due to engine failure. Investigations have found that the planes were not maintained properly and the trainers were not complying with critical safety rules of DGCA.

  • Published On Nov 1, 2023 at 12:05 PM IST

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