2017 Corruption Case: CBI Files Closure Report In Corruption Case Against NCP's Praful Patel

2017 Corruption Case: CBI Files Closure Report In Corruption Case Against NCP's Praful Patel

In 2017, after an Apex Court order, the CBI registered a case to probe the allegations of irregularities in leasing aircraft for Air India

ANIUpdated: Friday, March 29, 2024, 10:59 AM IST
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Praful Patel | Twitter

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has closed an alleged corruption case involving Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction) leader Praful Patel, registered in 2017. CBI registered the FIRs in May 2017 following a Supreme Court directive. A closure report has been in this regards before a special CBI court in Delhi recently. The Special Judge, Prashant Kumar, recently issued notice to the investigating officer and fixed the matter for April 15, 2024.


In 2017, after an Apex Court order, the CBI registered a case to probe the allegations of irregularities in leasing aircraft for Air India. Several officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and of Air India were put under scanner in the matter. The FIR was registered for the commission of offences punishable under sections 120-B r/w 420 of the IPC and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the PC Act, 1988, on behalf of unknown officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India and private companies.

Allegations against Praful Patel in case

It was alleged that the then Aviation Minister Praful Patel, under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, abused his position to lease a large number of aircraft for Air India, which was a public carrier at the time.
The Supreme Court had directed the CBI to register an FIR after allowing a public interest litigation, alleged that public servants of Air India and NACIL, with a view to dishonestly favouring private parties, made leases of 15 expensive aircraft for which they did not even have pilots ready. This was known to the management as well as to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Thereafter, when both airlines started making losses, a scheme of sale and leaseback of aircraft was started in 2007 at the behest of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.


It has been alleged that in 2006, a decision to go for dry and wet leasing of aircraft was taken by the public servants of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and NACIL in conspiracy with private parties without due consideration regarding proper route study and marketing or pricing strategy. Air India, with a view to benefiting private parties, leased four Boeing 777s for a period of five years in 2006, whereas it was to get the delivery of its own aircraft from July, 2007 onwards. As a result, five Boeing 777s and five Boeing 737s were kept idle on the ground at an estimated loss of Rs. 840 crores during the period of 2007-09. 

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