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Monday, February 13, 2012

Alliance Air RTI disclosure of illegal Chartered Flight allegedly involving Praful Patel's daughter Poorna Patel

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Government public documents (via RTI) given below show how Union Aviation Minister Praful Patel and his daughter Poorna Patel allegedly abused former's ministerial position to misuse public airline (by removing passengers from a scheduled Air India flight) for private purposes (ferrying IPL team). A Union Minister has no right to run a public-sector undertaking like his private business-firm by making it dance to requirements of his family-members. What a shame!
=======Forwarded Message========



Subhash Chandra Agrawal

1775 Kucha Lattushah

Dariba, Chandni Chowk



Shri Arun K Goyal

CPIO & Company Secretary

Alliance Air

Airline Allied Service Limited

Adjacent to office of ED (NR) Air India Ltd

Terminal-1, IGI Airport, New Delhi-110037


Shri Vipin K Sharma, In-charge

& Appellate Authority

Alliance air

Airline Allied Service Limited

Room Number 205, 2nd floor

Terminal-1, IGI Airport

New Delhi-110037

Brief Facts

I through a fresh RTI petition dated 26.03.2011 (first one dated 26.04.2010) requested to provide copy of complete documents/correspondence/file-notings etc on dealing with request of M/s India Cements Limited, Chennai for the chartered flight operated on 20th April 2010 including also copy of request-letter of India Cements Limited, Chennai and confirmation-letter from Alliance Air on the said request made by M/s India Cement Limited, Chennai for the said chartered flight as also referred in Alliance Air letter Ref No AASL/C.S./HQ/2011/194 dated 22.03.2011 which was sent to me in response to esteemed CIC verdict in file No. CIC/SS/A/2010/000931 and 933 wherein it was disclosed that flight IC 7603 on 20.04.2010 was aborted for a chartered flight at request of M/s India Cements Limited, Chennai.

I through my original RTI request dated 26.04.2010 through its initial paragraph did request for complete and detailed information together with related documents/correspondence/file-notings etc on each of aspects relating to news-clippings 'Praful Patel's daughter pulled out scheduled AI flight for IPL' and 'Clear violation of norms if plane was diverted for Poorna' (TOI 23.04.2010). But the response dated 22.03.2011 did not include documents/correspondence/file-notings etc relating to query-number (12) of my first RTI petition dated 26.04.2010 replied only after esteemed CIC-directions.

After clear instructions from Honourable Central Information Commission in the matter, no exemption-clause applies in present RTI petition dated 26.03.2011. But the CPIO after seeking time to respond vide his earlier letter CA/RTI/2011/756 dated 28.04.2011, ultimately declined sought information and documents as exempted under section 8(1)(d) of RTI Act vide response Ref No AASL/CS/HQ/2011/215 dated 18.05.2011. This is an unnecessary over-clever tactics to embarrass and harass RTI petitioners, requiring strict-most action against concerned ones at Alliance air for obstructing and delaying information sought which was even allowed by Honourable Central Information Commission.

Section 8(1)(d) clearly stipulates that disclosure would be made if larger public interest warrants. It will be in larger public interest to reveal sought information because news-report mentions about daughter of the then Union Civil Aviation Minister to be the person whose name is being tried to be hided under exemption-cover by Alliance Air, a public-sector company working under Union Ministry for Civil Aviation. It is definitely a matter of impropriety rather of commercial confidence, if the enclosed news-report is correct. A Union Minister has no right to run a public-sector undertaking like his private business-firm by making it dance to requirements of his family-members. However if the news-report is wrong, it will rather clear position of all concerned including Alliance Air and the concerned Union Minister. Therefore it is in interest of all including public-interest to reveal the sought information. Honourable Mr Justice S Ravindra Bhatt of Delhi High Court in the matter "Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC (W.P.(C) No.3114/2007)" has held that the Right to Information Act being a right based enactment is akin to a welfare measure and as such should receive liberal interpretation.

I filed my first appeal dated 21.05.2011 which was subsequently dismissed vide order dated 16.06.2011. I appeal that Alliance Air may kindly be directed to provide sought information together with related documents but now to be provided free-of-cost under section 7(6) of RTI Act. CPIO should be made liable for department-action apart from penalty payable under RTI Act. I also appeal for adequate and exemplary under section 19(8)(b) of RTI Act for harassment through mental agony/monetarily/man-hours. Already sought information is much delayed when the documents sought now should have been provided with response dated 22.03.2011 in compliance to esteemed CIC verdicts in appeal numbers CIC/SS/A/2010/000931 and 933.

Humbly submitted




I, Subhash Chandra Agrawal s/o late Shri Om Prakash and resident of 1775, Kucha Lattushah, Dariba, Delhi-110006 verify that the facts mentioned above are correct to best of my knowledge.


1775 Kucha Lattushah

Dariba DELHI 110006 (India)


Copies enclosed:

RTI petition dated 26.03.2011 with Alliance air letter dated 22.03.2011

CPIO's letter dated 27.04.2011 seeking extension to respond

CPIO's response dated 18.05.2011

First Appeal dated 21.05.2011

Appeal-order dated 16.06.2011

Praful Patel's daughter pulled out scheduled AI flight for IPL
TNN Apr 23, 2010

MUMBAI: A Delhi to Coimbatore Air India flight, IC 7603, scheduled to leave at 5.20am on April 20, was aborted less than 12 hours before its departure to allow the aircraft to be deployed as a chartered flight for ferrying civil aviation minister Praful Patel's daughter, Poorna Patel, and some IPL players from Chandigarh to Chennai.

Technically, the airline combined this flight with another one by putting passengers onto a flight which departed later. Diverting an aircraft from a scheduled passenger flight for charter operations is forbidden under the law if the airline does not have another aircraft to operate the said passenger flight at the scheduled time.

Yet the Bombardier CRJ 700 aircraft was pulled out of its scheduled flight allegedly on the demand of Poorna, the IPL's hospitality manager. The aircraft (registration number VT-RJB), belonging to Alliance Air, was scheduled to fly the three-hour Delhi-Coimbatore route and return to the capital after leaving Coimbatore at 8.55am the same day.

"But Poorna Patel called the airline on Monday evening and asked for an aircraft to do a chartered flight to Chennai from Chandigarh. So the aircraft was pulled out of the fleet. IPL paid for the chartered flight but the violation here was getting an aircraft scheduled for a passenger flight pulled out at the last moment for a chartered flight," said an official.

A civil aviation ministry spokesperson said the ministry had nothing to do with the charter. Praful Patel was not available for comment. An AI spokesperson confirmed the aircraft was given for a chartered flight but did not divulge details about the client.

"The decision to operate this chartered flight was taken the previous evening and we informed our call centre at 7.20pm. The call centre called passengers on flight 7603 and told them they would be put on the Delhi-Mumbai-Coimbatore flight, IC 657," the spokesperson said.

Coimbatore-bound passengers reached their destination at 11.45am, three hours behind schedule. Passengers booked on Coimbatore-Delhi flight 7604 were put on a Coimbatore-Mumbai-Delhi flight. In all, 75 passengers were re-assigned.

The Bombardier did an empty ferry flight to Chandigarh on Tuesday morning. The new flight plan had the chartered flight, LLR-0001, leaving Chandigarh for Chennai at 10.20am. "The departure was postponed to 11.45am as the passengers got delayed. It was airborne at 12.10pm with Poorna Patel and some IPL players," a person in the know said.

National carrier Air India had to violate Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms on April 20 to accommodate the demand of aviation minister Praful Patel's daughter Poorna, an IPL hospitality manager.

Director-general of civil aviation Nasim Zaidi said an airline did not need to seek permission from the DGCA to operate a chartered flight. But the DGCA's role starts when there was a violation, he said.

Air Passengers' Association of India president Sudhakara Reddy said: ''The DGCA should conduct a fair inquiry into the matter. If the aircraft indeed was diverted for a chartered flight, it is a gross abuse of power. Passengers have been inconvenienced by this.''

It is to follow this Civil Aviation Requirement that airlines take up chartered flights only with aircraft that are not scheduled to do regular passenger flights. Delhi and Coimbatore airport officials said the flight plans filed by Air India for the Delhi-Coimbatore-Delhi sector on Tuesday at both the airports pointed to the fact that Air India had to make last-minute changes and pull out its aircraft from a passenger flight to accommodate the demand for a chartered flight.

Alliance Air disclosure of illegal Chartered Flight allegedly involving Praful Patel's daughter Poorna Patel

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