Air India’s probe into the alleged forging of caste certificates by employees to get a job is waiting to take off.
Acting on a Delhi High Court order, the airline’s headquarters on April 15 issued a list of 83 such employees and formed a task force to complete the probe within eight days.
But the task force has not yet begun the probe.
According to the procedure, the task force is supposed to submit caste certificates of staffers under the scanner and relevant supporting documents to a state-appointed Scrutiny Committee, which verifies the authenticity of the caste certificates.
Urmila Subbarao, the airline’s chief vigilance officer, confirmed that the task forced had been set up. “We have not begun the process yet,” she said, but did not explain the cause for the delay.
Sources in the airline claim that the exercise is eyewash.
“It is a big sham. The senior management is shielding some employees,” said an airline official requesting anonymity.
In 2007, V. Thulsidas, the former chairman and managing director, had ordered a similar probe but it made no headway. The airline then had named 280 staffers suspected of forging caste certificates to secure reserved jobs.
The list had included senior official Lata Nakhwa, the current executive director (medical and personnel), and others.
Hindustan Times accessed documents, which prove that despite several reminders from the Scrutiny Committee the airline has failed to submit caste certificates of the suspected employees.
Without completing the 2007 probe the airline issued a circular that employees above the rank of assistant managers should not be considered for the verification. As a result the list of employees suspected of forging caste certificates shrunk substantially. “This circular was to save a set of favoured employees,” alleged the official.
Despite waiting for three days the airline management failed to respond on the matter.