New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked Airbus along with seven officials of erstwhile Indian Airlines for alleged irregularities in over Rs 8,000-crore deal for supplying 43 aircraft to the erstwhile carrier in 2005. CBI sources said the agency has booked French company Airbus Industries and seven officials which held senior positions in the Indian Airlines, which was later merged with the Air India.
The sources said the then officials including Deputy Managing Director, Director (planning), Director (finance), Functional Director (engineering), General manager (engineering) and two Deputy General Managers one of whom is now posted in the vigilance wing are made accused in the case. They said agency will soon start their questioning and recording of statements.
Airbus has denied any wrongdoing and refuted allegations. The agency had concluded its preliminary enquiry in the matter in 2012 and sought the permission of the Civil Aviation Ministry to prosecute officials in the case, CBI sources said.
After getting the permission from the Ministry, the agency booked a case in this regard last week, they said. It had started probing the deal two years ago 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 $17.5 crore by Airbus, were allegedly diluted by some officials.
The deal was finalised in September 2005 when an Empowered Group of Ministers had given 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 had said the commitments made by Airbus regarding creation of MRO and training facilities were "quite open-ended".
"There was no mention anywhere that the training and MRO facilities would be exclusive for India Airlines use or would be meant for all users of Airbus aircraft (public and private) in India and nearby," the report had said.