P Chidambaram Summoned Over Probe Into Congress-Era Air India Deal

New Delhi: 

Former Union minister P Chidambaram has been summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the purchase of 111 aircraft for Air India during the Congress-led UPA government, sources said. The deal, made more than a decade ago, is said to have saddled the struggling national carrier with mounting losses.

The questioning has been slated for August 23, based on then aviation minister Praful Patel’s claim that the purchase order was cleared by an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Mr Chidambaram.

In an earlier interview to NDTV, the NCP leader had said: “All decisions were multi-tiered and collective. The aircraft purchase order was cleared by an EGOM headed by P Chidambaram and the merger was cleared by an EGOM (empowered group of ministers) headed by Pranab Mukherjee. Both decisions were ratified by the cabinet.”

The case involves the purchase of 48 aircraft from Airbus and 68 from Boeing for around 70,000 crore.

In May 2017, following an order from the Supreme Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered three cases and one preliminary investigation.

The cases include investigating allegations on purchase of planes for 70,000 crores or $10.8 billion.

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