CBI books former Air India chief Arvind Jadhav for irregular promotions, appointments

The CBI has booked former Air India Chairman-cum-Managing Director Arvind Jadhav for allegedly violating procedures while making various promotions and appointments, officials said Wednesday. Along with Jadhav, the CBI has also named then Executive Director (Personnel) LP Nakhwa (now retired) and former Additional General Managers (Operations) A Kathpalia, Amitabh Singh and Rohit Bhasin in its FIR registered under IPC section related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI alleged that Jadhav had constituted a panel in 2010 to promote officers to the rank of General Manager (operations) in violation of laid down procedure. The three-member panel included then Chief Operating Officer Gustav Baldauf, then Executive Director (operations) A S Soman and former Executive Director (Personnel) L P Nakhwa, it said. Nakhwa, who was General Manager (Medical Service), was given the rank of Executive Director (Medical Services) after the post was upgraded as a temporary measure till August 31, 2009.

It is alleged that Nakhwa was to be reverted to the post of General Manager (Medical Services) from September 1, 2009, but she continued in her position as Executive Director in clear violation of the Civil Aviation Ministry's directive dated March 6, 2009. The CBI inquiry also found that Jadhav regularised Nakhwa in the post of Executive Director (Medical Services) with effect from April 1, 2010, without following the due procedure, the FIR said.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had annulled and reversed the irregular appointment of Nakhwa as Executive Director (Medical services), the CBI alleged. A human resources sub-committee of the Board of Air India in an order dated September 8, 2O1O reverted Nakhwa to the post of General Manager (Medical services) with immediate effect.

"Therefore, the promotion panel so constituted by Arvind Jadhav...for selecting suitable candidates for promotions to the post of GM (operations) should have been reconstituted in the wake of the reversion of Nakhwa from Executive Director(Medical services) to the rank of General Manager," it said.

This was necessary as according to the promotion policy of Air India, members of promotion panel should be preferably two levels above the post for which the selection is to be made, which was not the case with Nakhwa who was of the same for which selection was to be made by the panel.

The investigating agency said although Nakhwa was not eligible for being a member of the said promotion panel, Jadhav nominated her against the prevailing rules and procedure. The panel had called 15 Additional General Managers (operations) ranked candidates for the interview for the promotion to General Manager (operations) and selected five candidates.

Additional General Managers (Operations) A Kathpalia, Amitabh Singh, Rohit Bhasin, A K Gujaral and N K Beri were considered for promotion to the General Manager (Operations) by the panel, the FIR said. It is alleged there was a criminal case against Kathpalia who was given vigilance clearance, a matter which needs a further probe.

Bhasin and Singh too were having pending complaints against them yet they were cleared for promotion, the FIR alleged. "Giving vigilance clearance to both the officers having a complaint pending against them is irregularity and misconduct on part of unknown officers of Air India who dealt with this matter," the FIR added.

Source: Business Today

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