The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case of corruption and criminal conspiracy against former Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav for alleged violation of rules and procedures in granting promotions to certain officials of the government-owned airline.
The CBI has alleged that Jadhav not only constituted the selection panel and favoured one of the panel members, but also granted promotions to officials facing criminal cases and vigilance complaints through the panel.
Along with Jadhav, the CBI has also named then Executive Director (Personnel) L P Nakhwa (now retired) and former Additional General Managers (Operations) A Kathpalia, Amitabh Singh and Rohit Bhasin in its FIR. The CBI alleged that Jadhav had constituted a panel in 2010 to promote officers to the rank of General Manager (operations) in violation of laid down procedure. The three member panel included then Chief Operating Officer Gustav Baldauf, then Executive Director (operations) A S Soman and former Executive Director (Personnel) L P Nakhwa, it said.
Nakhwa, who was General Manager (Medical Service), was given the rank of Executive Director (Medical Services) after the post was upgraded as a temporary measure till August 31, 2009. It is alleged that Nakhwa was to be reverted to the post of General Manager (Medical Services) from September 1, 2009, but she continued in her position as Executive Director in violation of the Civil Aviation Ministry’s directive dated March 6, 2009.
The investigating agency said although Nakhwa was not eligible for being a member of the said promotion panel, Jadhav nominated her against the prevailing rules and procedure. The panel had called 15 Additional General Managers (operations) ranked candidates for the interview for the promotion to General Manager (operations) and selected five candidates. Additional General Managers (Operations) A Kathpalia, Amitabh Singh, Rohit Bhasin, A K Gujaral and N K Beri were considered for promotion to the GM (Operations) by the panel, the FIR said. It is alleged there was a criminal case against Kathpalia who was given vigilance clearance. Bhasin and Singh too were having pending complaints against them yet they were cleared for promotion, the FIR alleged. “Giving vigilance clearance to both the officers having complaint pending against them is irregularity and misconduct on part of unknown officers of Air India who dealt with this matter,” the FIR added.