The Punjab Police have registered a case against the Birmi Flying Academy, owned by state Congress leader Malkiat Singh Birmi, for cheating the students by not providing them the required flying training.
Though Birmi has not been booked by name, the police have not given him a clean chit either. "Birmi has not been given a clean chit. His role is under the scanner and I have recommended that his name should be added to the FIR if chief flying officer Rajindran KT, who runs the academy, names him in his statement. KT is on the run and Birmi has put all blame on him. We are trying to nab KT and will then decide on Birmi, who is also a suspect," said Manjit Singh Brar, DSP (detective), who had probed a complaint by the students.
According to the FIR, Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Urban Estate, had alleged that she had paid Rs. 12.75 lakh to the academy for 150 hours of training of her son Sumandeep as a commercial pilot.
However, the academy had provided him only 13 hours of training as most aircraft were out of order and the academy had no tutor. "Despite our repeated attempts, the accused had neither returned the money nor did they provide training to my son," she alleged.
There were similar complaints from six other students.
On the directions of the SSP, Brar probed the matter and recommended an FIR under sections 420 and 120 of the IPC against the academy.
"The students have been cheated of Rs. 30.5 lakh. The academy has issued bank cheques to some students to return their fee, but these cheques had bounced. Police are looking for KT," said Brar.
The academy management claimed that they had struck a deal with KT a few years ago and handed over the flying business on lease, but KT had left the academy in May 2012.