Three former prime ministers used Indian Air Force (IAF) planes for non-official purposes during their tenures without paying anything. One of them might have to clear his dues soon.
Former PMs Chandrashekhar, PV. Narasimha Rao and HD Deve Gowda have been named by the IAF as those who availed its aircraft facilities, but neither of them or their parties paid for the use of planes.
Rao and Chandrashekar passed away without clearing the dues , but IAF wants Gowda to pay the amount of Rs 54 lakh.
In response to an RTI application by Delhi-based activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the IAF has said that it has approached Delhi High Court for “recovery of the outstanding amount against Gowda for his non-official use of the IAF aircraft during his tenure as PM in 1996-97.”
Former Union minister VC Shukla is the fourth politician against whose name dues are pending.
IAF has to recover Rs 5.91 crore from Chandrashekhar, Rs 54.61 lakh from Gowda and Rs 4.60 lakh from Shukla.
“The amount was due from their parties,” the IAF said in its reply, adding there was nothing wrong in their using its planes, which are used by authorised persons in accordance with the defence ministry guidelines.
The ministry has resorted to legal and administrative measures, including filing of civil suits to recover the amount.
The civil suit filed against Chandrashekhar in Delhi HC in 2001 was dismissed in 2008 as he had passed away by then. “...an appeal is proposed to be filed in the Delhi HC to recover airlift dues from his legal heirs/political party,” it said.