Funds re­ceived from Air­bus part of CSR, says Tal­war’s lawyer

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

From P 1

Four major in­ter­na­tional air­lines and man­u­fac­turer Air­bus, which al­legedly trans­ferred mil­lions of dol­lars, have been named by the agency in the re­mand note moved while seek­ing Tal­war’s cus­tody. The air­lines are Emi­rates, Air Asia, Air Ara­bia and Qatar Air­ways.

The ED’s probe over the last two years found that Tal­war had re­ceived al­leged kick­backs of over Rs 270 crore from for­eign air­lines and air­craft man­u­fac­turer Air­bus for il­le­gally ben­e­fit­ing them by us­ing his con­tacts with the then civil avi­a­tion min­istry in with­draw­ing Air In­dia’s ser­vices from some lu­cra­tive and profit-earn­ing routes.

De­tails with the agency showed that the first of such pay­ments, $23 mil­lion, was re­ceived by a Tal­war en­tity from Emi­rates in Bank of Sin­ga­pore on June 3, 2008. Two months later, the same air­line trans­ferred an­other $11 mil­lion in Bank of Sin­ga­pore in the ac­counts of a “com­pany owned and con­trolled by Tal­war”.

Around the same time, Air Ara­bia de­posited $5.8 mil­lion in Bank of Sin­ga­pore, fol­lowed by pay­ments from Qatar Air­ways on Fe­bru­ary 27, 2009, for over $9.6 mil­lion and an­other $1.5 mil­lion from Air Asia on June 1, 2009. Air­bus made two trans­fers to­talling $10.5 mil­lion in com­pa­nies con­trolled by Tal­war be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber 2012, around the time the civil avi­a­tion min­istry placed orders for pur­chase of air­craft.

“These ac­counts in Bank of Sin­ga­pore in which pay­ments have been re­ceived from for­eign air­lines don’t be­long to my client. He has nei­ther in­cor­po­rated these com­pa­nies nor is he the ben­e­fi­ciary of these ac­counts. The NGO Ad­van­tage In­dia was in­cor­po­rated by Deepak Tal­war some­time in­1990s and the funds (Rs 88 crore) re­ceived from Air­bus was part of cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR),” Tal­war’s lawyer Tan­vir Ahmed Mir told TOI.

“Qatar Air­ways will not com­ment on this,” a spokesper­son for the air­line said. Emi­rates, Air Asia, Air Ara­bia and Air­bus did not re­spond to TOI queries.

Tal­war fled the coun­try af­ter the I-T depart­ment searched his premises in 2016, fol­lowed by CBI fil­ing three FIRs on Jan­uary 5, 2017.

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