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DGCA official, pilot arrested

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2011 00:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Four more persons, including a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), have been arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly being part of a nationwide flying licence racket.

This takes the number of those arrested so far in the scam to six. The police are on the lookout for four more persons.

"The arrested are Pradeep Kumar, 48, an assistant director with the DGCA, Pradeep Tyagi, 35, a pilot who helped people get fake marksheets, and touts Pankaj Jain, 23, and Lalit Jain, 34," Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said on Saturday.

They were arrested between March 23 and 25 from Delhi and Chennai, as part of a crime branch investigation into a complaint filed by aviation regulator DGCA.

The lid was first blown off the scam with the arrest of now suspended Indigo pilot Parminder Kaur Gulati on March 8 after a series of bad landings, and JK Verma of Air India four days later.

Another pilot, Meenakshi Sehgal of Indigo, later surrendered at a city court.

"We are on the lookout for three more pilots and a conduit of the gang who is a flying instructor in Mumbai," Chand said.

The absconding pilots have been identified as captains Swaran Singh, Syed Habib Ali and Bhupender Singh and the conduit as Deepak Asatkar.

"Tyagi is the main man. All the accused pilots paid Rs 12 lakh for each forged marksheet to get flying licences," the officer said.

"Tyagi paid Rs 25,000 to Kumar for expediting the paperwork. Tyagi too procured a commercial pilot's licence in June 2010 on the basis of a forged marksheet and fudged flying hours," the officer added.

According to sources, DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan had transferred Kumar from the licencing directorate last month as his activities aroused suspicion.

He will be placed under suspension once the police officially communicate his arrest to the DGCA.

The regulator is scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday to frame new guidelines on the issuing of licences.