Rs 8,000-cr Airbus deal: CBI writes to Civil Aviation Ministry

Rs 8,000-cr Airbus deal: CBI writes to Civil Aviation Ministry

The reminder was sent as the agency completed its probe in the Preliminary Enquiry, sources said, adding prima-facie it seems an offence was committed which needed a proper investigation that includes seizure and searches.

Refusing to divulge the names of the officials against whom the sanction was sought, the
sources said it was mainly those who were in the negotiation team and put their signatures on the files.

The agency had registered a Preliminary Enquiry in the matter and had started probing the deal last year as it came to light that clauses which governed setting up of an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) unit, training centre and a warehouse, worth USD 17.5 crore by Airbus, were allegedly diluted by some officials, the sources said.

The deal was finalised in September 2005 when an Empowered Group of Ministers gave its nod after Airbus agreed to set-up the facilities along with the supply of 43 aircraft.

The Comptroller and Auditor General in its report in September said the commitments made by Airbus on creation of MRO and training facilities were "quite open-ended".
"In respect of the MRO, the wording 'facilitate creation of MRO facilities in India in association with the promoters' did not give any indication of a binding commitment.
There was no mention anywhere that the training and MRO facilities would be exclusive for Indian Airlines use or would be meant for all users of Airbus aircraft (public and private) in India and nearby," the report had said.

The CAG said Indian Airlines entered a joint venture with EADS, parent company of Airbus, in 2008 but there was no tangible progress in that direction. It, however, said the training centres were started in Bangalore.

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