The controversy surrounding the note written by former Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bharat Bhushan, on action against beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, took an interesting turn on Friday with the present incumbent Prashant Sukul stating that he had found no such ``missing documents’’ in the files as alleged by his predecessor.
Mr. Bhushan, a 1979 batch Kerala cadre office, now posted as Financial Advisor in the Steel Ministry, had sought a probe in the missing documents contained in the DGCA file on Kingfisher’s surveillance, alleging that they had been removed from the file after his departure from the post.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Sukul said that he had gone through the various papers and files and had also conducted an enquiry into the whole issue. ``Unfortunately, we have found no such document,’’ he added.
It is a well known fact that Mr. Bhushan had warned Kingfisher of action if it did not adhere to DGCA norms. Mr. Bhushan was granted an extension of one year by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. However, he was abruptly removed from the post on July 10. It was alleged his firm directive to Kingfisher led to his ouster from the DGCA.
In a letter to Mr. Sukul with copies to Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Kumar Seth and Civil Aviation Secretary, Nasim Zaidi, Mr. Bhushan had asked Mr. Sukul to initiate action against the wrongdoing of a very serious nature.
It is learnt that in his note as a DGCA, he had recommended sending a notice to Kingfisher airlines asking it to pay up dues of its employees and creditors within 15 days failing which their license could be suspended.
On Mr. Sukul's remarks that no action had been suggested against Kingfisher, Mr. Bhushan said: ``your statement before the press appears to indicate that pages including the observations of the two (DGCA) officers and my orders thereon have been removed from the file. Apparently, this suggests wrongdoing of a very serious nature. You may like to personally look into the matter and take necessary action.’’
In his note, Mr. Bhushan had referred to large outstanding due to Kingfisher's creditors, oil marketing companies, other service providers and the employees.
Mr. Sukul said there has been no compromise on safety issues and that Kingfisher was following its schedule given to the regulator.