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Aviation scam: Court to pass order on bail plea of lobbyist Deepak Talwar on Oct 3

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 1, 2019  | 19:44 IST

New Delhi, Oct 1 (PTI) A Delhi court will pronounce order on October 3 on the bail application of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar who has been charge sheeted in connection with an aviation scam which allegedly led to losses for Air India. Special judge Anil Kumar Sisodia, who extended Talwar's judicial custody till October 16, reserved the order on his bail application after hearing the arguments from him as well as the CBI, which is probing the case. In his bail application, Talwar claimed that the probe against him was over since the charge sheet was already filed and there was no need to keep him in custody. The CBI, however, opposed the application, saying that if granted the relief, Talwar could flee from justice and hamper the investigation which was still on. The court also said it will take up the charge sheet for consideration on October 16. The CBI on September 23 filed the charge sheet in the case against Talwar, deported from Dubai in January this year, and others for the offence punishable under Section 8 of Prevention of Corruption Act, besides other offences. The section deals with illegal gratification to influence public servant and carry a maximum jail term of seven years. Besides Talwar, who is currently in judicial custody in the case, the charge sheet also names his close aide Yasmeen Kapoor and Maya B Puri, Stone Travel Private Limited, Cedar Travels, Deepak Talwar & Associates and Asia Field Limited. The agency had on July 26 taken Talwar into custody inside the courtroom, moments after the judge dismissed his anticipatory bail application. He was later sent to judicial custody on August 9. According to the investigative agency, Talwar had acted as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, by making national carrier Air India give up profit making routes and timings. The alleged deals took place during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) rule. The CBI had earlier told the court that it had to find out the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India who favoured the foreign airlines. It said these officials, in conspiracy with other public servants, private domestic and foreign airlines, made Air India give up profit making routes and timings in favour of national and international domestic and foreign private airlines. This resulted in a huge loss of market share to the national carrier and led to pecuniary benefits to private domestic and foreign airlines, it said. It said India held bilateral meetings with Dubai, Sharjah and Qatar after which there has been an increase in the seat entitlements for both the contracting countries and increase in points of call for foreign carriers. Air India could not utilise its seat entitlement in the optimum capacity, and despite a number of seats having been left unutilised, after every bilateral seats were increased to benefit the foreign airlines, the CBI said. The foreign carriers have been given more points of call whereas Indian carrier has only one, it added. It stated further that the foreign airlines were exercising the benefits of 6th freedom traffic. It means they were carrying the traffics of the countries other than their own. Talwar was booked by the CBI and the ED in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department has charged him with tax evasion. PTI UK PKS RT RT

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