AI aircraft purchase: SC asks CBI to complete probe by June

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked CBI to complete its probe by June into allegations of “serious irregularities” in purchase or hiring of 111 aircraft for Air India that had cost around Rs 70,000 crore during the tenure of Praful Patel as the civil aviation minister in 2005-06.

The apex court also asked the agency to look into the fresh allegations made by an NGO CPIL that Patel made Air India to buy biometric system for a hefty sum of Rs 1000 crore.

“CBI shall take into consideration all the allegations made in the pleadings of the instant petition, and take a call thereon, based on the evidence collected. We hope and expect, that CBI will adhere to the time frame indicated to us, namely, June, 2017,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud said.

During the hearing, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the bench that most of the allegations referred to in the petition are a result of adverse comments made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC). (AGENCIES)