The Central Bureau of Investigation aka CBI has filed a First Information Report (FIR) in connection to a Rs 226 crore Air India software purchase scam. The FIR has been filed against officials of Air India, German software giant SAP SE and American computing behemoth IBM. The FIR has been filed due to irregularities that were found in the purchase of software worth Rs 226 crores. These softwares were purchased by Air India in 2011.
The case was filed by the CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which said that there were serious irregularities in the procurement, services offered and the amount paid for the software to the two companies. The CVC has said that the irregularities have caused undue benefit to IBM/ SAP due to an incorrect tendering and contract awarding process. It said that prima facie there appears to be a scam that must be investigated.
The CVC has also asked, the CBI to investigate if any Government official who was involved in this process has received any undue favors or other financial benefits. The CBI has registered cases under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The Supreme Court had recently thrown out a case filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, which asked for investigation into the allotment of bilateral routes to private airlines at throwaway prices. The decision is said to have hurt Indian airlines and the national carrier Air India. Also, decisions related to the purchase and leasing of a large number of aircrafts were put under the scanner, but they have yielded little result as the court cases drag on slowly.
Most of these decisions were taken by the former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party.