Former aviation minister Praful Patel seeks more time to appear before ED
Former civil aviation minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel has sought more time to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after he was unable to do so on Thursday, people familiar with the development said requesting anonymity.
“Due to my prior commitments, I have requested the ED for another date,” news agency Press Trust of India quoted Patel as saying. The ED had on Saturday summoned Patel to appear before it on Thursday in connection with an ongoing probe against lobbyist Deepak Talwar for his alleged role in securing favourable air traffic rights for foreign airlines at the cost of national carrier Air India.
Talwar is accused of doing so in collusion with some government officials when Patel was the civil aviation minister in the UPA government. The ED is likely to give more time to Patel to appear before the agency, the persons quoted above said. The agency is also investigating direct and indirect roles of “some other UPA ministers and bureaucrats” in the case involving Talwar. The ministers could also be summoned in the due course, the people said requesting anonymity.