AI might grant NoC to official involved in alleged salary scam

Air India is likely to grant a no-objection certificate (NoC) and drop the investigation against the employee, who drew salary from both the national carrier and the DGCA for two years after being deputed at the aviation regulator.

The official’s term with the DGCA ends on June 30 and for him to carry on with the regulator, he requires an NoC from the national carrier. If this is provided, Air India will not be able to probe him, as per reports citing sources.

According to people in the know, Air India is expected to provide the NoC, since a resolution to the matter has already been initiated.

However, reports citing sources said that such a move might be contemplated to stall an investigation by the airline.

As per reports, the employee concerned was a joint manager in the national carrier till January 2017 and was then deputed in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The alleged scam came to light in January last year.

Following the claims, Air India conducted an internal enquiry before urging the DGCA in June last year to relieve the Chief Flight Operations Inspector (CFOI) so that the airline could bring him back and investigate the allegations. However, the DGCA did not agree to the request.

Now is the opportunity, sources in the report said, citing the expiry of the DGCA contract, when Air India can actually bring back the person and investigate the allegations of fraud.

Contacted by IANS, the official concerned refused to comment on matter.

There are, however, contradictory opinions within the establishment. A person in the know of the matter said: “This is a matter that has been resolved internally in the airline. When the pilot is returning the extra payments he had received, then there is no point of an investigation left.”

The money owed by the official concerned is also disputed. Air India last year issued a showcause notice to the CFOI for receiving a gross salary of Rs 2.8 crore from the airline, when he was employed with the DGCA.

Sources, on the other side of the divide, also said that the official concerned has paid around Rs 90 lakh to Air India in two instalments after the alleged scam came to light and the airline expects to make full recovery soon.

Asked about the possible grant of NoC for extension of the official’s service in the DGCA, a source said: “These are two very separate issues and cannot be clubbed or looked at from a single perspective.”