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House panel summons Air India chief

Amid its financial woes, allegation of a job scam is set to haunt Air India (AI). A parliamentary panel has asked the airline’s CMD Rohit Nandan to reply to allegations of almost 1000 recruitments through bribes in the joint venture (JV) between AI and Singapore-based SATS for ground handling in Indian airports.

delhi Updated: Feb 17, 2012 00:18 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

Amid its financial woes, allegation of a job scam is set to haunt Air India (AI). A parliamentary panel has asked the airline’s CMD Rohit Nandan to reply to allegations of almost 1000 recruitments through bribes in the joint venture (JV) between AI and Singapore-based SATS for ground handling in Indian airports.

A parliamentary probe is also on the anvil into the issue of the AI-SATS joint venture, which is seen by a section of the panel as eating into the revenues of the loss-making airline.

Sitaram Yechury, the chairman of the standing committee on transport, tourism and culture, has shot a letter to Nandan on Friday saying, “It is alleged that a huge amount… to the tune of Rs 1-2 lakh per candidate… is bribed to the SATS officials in the name of Air India.”

He added, “SATS on its own have recruited around 1000 employees in AI’s name, flouting the recruitment norms. AI, being a 50% partner, was not even consulted for these recruitments. The government is nationalising the AI’s loss and privatising its profits.” Nandan may depose on February 21.