DELHI- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against the former CMD of Air India (AI), Arvind Jadhav, SAP India, and IBM India.
This action is related to alleged irregularities in the procurement of software worth Rs 225 crore by the national carrier in 2011.
Air India Ex-MD Faces Corruption Charges
The CBI initiated the case based on the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) recommendation, which identified procedural irregularities in the software procurement.
The chargesheet, filed after nearly six years of investigation, also implicates six others under IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CVC noted in its communication to the CBI that an initial probe by Air India’s chief vigilance officer revealed that the national carrier had selected the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system from SAP AG without following the proper tendering procedure.
The allegations further suggested a lack of approval from the civil aviation ministry, despite Air India’s claims of presenting before the Group of Secretaries in 2009 and the Group of Ministers in 2010.
What are the Allegations?
According to the commission, Air India chose the software from the world’s largest ERP provider without adequately justifying the necessity, as a similar system from Oracle was already in use.
Despite reported issues with the Oracle system, there seemed to be no attempt to rectify or upgrade it.
Additionally, the CVC noted the absence of an open tender system for acquiring the new software, stating that the contract was awarded to SAP and IBM on a nomination basis.
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