In an exclusive investigation following hot on the heels of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoning NCP leader Praful Patel in the case against aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, Republic TV on Monday has unearthed an email trail connecting the then-UPA government's Civil Aviation Minister to the lobbyist and his various activities, with mentions made of numerous facets of the multi-crore alleged aviation scam which overlapped with state-run carrier Air India falling into severe and debilitating debt.
Earlier on Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had summoned Praful Patel in connection with the case against aviation Talwar on June 6, post which Republic Media Network had learnt that Patel will be probed in the Rs 212 crore kickbacks case and has already been named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in May against Deepak Talwar and his son Aditya Talwar over negotiations favouring foreign private airlines during the UPA-era, over Air India.
The agency had claimed entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from foreign carriers and submitted a chart totalling $60.54 million received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008, to February 6, 2009.
Now, Republic's Senior News Editor Shawan Sen has accessed critical evidence, namely emails written or received by Deepak Talwar which indicate his proximity to the officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The emails were recovered from Deepak Talwar’s computer during I-T raids:
EMAIL 1: Deepak Talwar writes to the Chief Operating Officer of a leading hotel and refers to 'dear friend'- Praful Patel.
“I am enclosing an interview of Praful Patel who is a dear friend to all of us. The article makes interesting reading,” reads the email.
EMAIL 2: VS Kurup, a staffer of Deepak Talwar, writes to Talwar describing his accommodations at the Udaipur Palace
“Received a call from Mr Nagpal in Mr Praful Patel’s office informing that they have arranged your accommodation in Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur”
EMAIL 3: The Vice President of Emirates airlines writes to Deepak Talwar enquiring the quoted charter price for a 275 seater aircraft at USD 255,000. In the email, he also talks about arranging a spare aircraft and crew for evacuation, on behalf of the Government of India.
We are trying to source spare aircraft and crew for an evacuation flight from Sanaa to Trivandrum on behalf of Govt. of India. In the interim, please confirm whether Govt of India would accept a charter price of USD 255,000 for a 275 seater aircraft as quoted below.
EMAIL 4: Deepak Talwar’s staffer Bina writes to Declan Collier, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin Aviation Authority sending, him a list of names and profiles of the ministers from Civil Aviation, Transport, Tourism, and Sports department adding that some were on the board of Air India.
As per your mail to Deepak, please find attached the names and brief profiles of Ministers of Civil Aviation, Transport, Tourism, and Sports. Also attached are profiles of senior government officials from the same ministries and senior members of the Air India board. Please let me know in case any other information may be required.
EMAIL 5: Declan Collier writes back to Deepak Talwar sending him the draft agenda of the meeting with the 'Minister for Civil aviation' (Praful Patel) and a subsequent meeting with Joint Secretary for Aviation - Prashant Sukul and the then- Air India Chief Arvind Jadhav
Call on Indian Minister for Civil Aviation (requested: this meeting may take place on the afternoon of 16th or on 17th)
6:30: Meeting with Joint Secretary for Aviation, Mr Prashant Sukul and Chairman of Air India Mr Arvind Jadhav in residence.