Monday, March 14, 2011

2 arrested pilots paid Rs 10 lakh for forged marksheet: Police

NEW DELHI: Two pilots arrested in the Capital for procuring flying licence by allegedly forging marksheets are believed to have paid touts Rs 10-12 lakh each, police said on Monday.

Police arrested Parminder Kaur Gulati (38) of IndiGo and Jitender Kishen Verma (46) of Air India in the last one week and are hot on the trail of two more pilots who are absconding in the wake of the fake pilot scare. Verma is with the state-owned airline for 22 years.

As police widened its probe to nail the touts, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Chand said they were investigating the case and were looking for Meenakshi Sehgal of IndiGo and Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR -- against whom Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has lodged complaints.

A senior police official said they were trying to identify the touts from whom the pilots allegedly procured the fake marksheets. "They are believed have paid something around Rs 10-12 lakh. We are investigating this," the official, who did not want to be named, said.

Chand said, "The latest to be arrested was Verma. He has been a co-pilot with Air India since 1989. He tried to get a pilot licence but failed in mandatory tests continuously. He then allegedly forged marksheets to procure licence."

He said Verma was arrested on March 12, four days after Gulati was apprehended from the capital. Talwar and Sehgal are absconding.

According to Chand, both Gulati and Verma procured Airlines Transport Pilot Licence using fake documents. "One has to clear three subjects -- Aviation Meteorlogy, Radio Aids & Instruments and Air Navigation -- to get ATPL, mandatory for becoming a Commander of a plane," he said.

However in Verma's case, he said, he failed in all three papers continuously from 2006 though he cleared Aviation Meteorology paper in 2009.

In December 2009, he went to the US and obtained an ATPL from Florida. To convert this license issued from the US to Indian license, he had to again appear in one Air Navigation composite.

"In June, 2010 he appeared in the paper but did not clear it. Then in September, 2010, he submitted a forged result card of April 2010 of passing Air Navigation Composite for conversion of his license. On this, he obtained the Indian License on the basis of forged result card," Chand said.

Verma was born and brought up in Mumbai and did his BCom from Mumbai University in 1986. The next year he obtained a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) from Florida in US and in 1989, he joined as a trainee pilot in Air India. After completion of training he became a co-pilot in Air India.

In the wake of the fake pilot scare, licenses of 3,000 to 4,000 pilots are being scrutinised by the DGCA, according to Civil Aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi.

Delhi Police's Crime Branch had on March 8 arrested Gulati for allegedly obtained the mandatory Airlines Transport Pilot License (ALTP) using forged documents.

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