After Two Decades, Court Finds Defunct Airline, Its Director Guilty of Cheating IOCL

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Last Updated: December 21, 2022, 23:57 IST

A case had been registered against nine persons, but four of them died during the trial. (File photo/Reuters)

A case had been registered against nine persons, but four of them died during the trial. (File photo/Reuters)

On Tuesday, the court convicted airline’s director Faizal Wahid and former bank official Jayanand Shetty while others were acquitted for want of evidence

Almost 24 years after the case was registered, a special CBI court here has found the now-defunct East-West Airlines and its director along with another person guilty of cheating the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) of Rs 1.73 crore.

Special judge SU Wadgaonkar held them guilty of offenses under relevant sections of the IPC for cheating as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act on Tuesday.

The detailed order became available on Wednesday.

A case had been registered against nine persons, but four of them died during the trial.

On Tuesday, the court convicted airline’s director Faizal Wahid and former bank official Jayanand Shetty while others were acquitted for want of evidence.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the airline which ceased operations many years ago.

Shetty was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, while Wahid was awarded a six months jail term.

As per the prosecution case, IOCL had been selling Aviation Turbine Fuel to East-West Airlines since 1992.

In 1995, pursuant to meetings between the airline and IOCL, a mode of payment for fuel was decided.

As per the agreement, the airline staff had to fax copies of demand drafts to IOCL, payable in Mumbai. Only after receiving the fax copy, the IOCL was to supply fuel worth the amount cited in the DD.

The original demand drafts were to be sent to IOCL immediately thereafter.

The airline faxed copies of 29 demand drafts from March 1996 to May 1996 for Rs 1.73 crore, and on that basis, IOCL supplied fuel to its aircraft.

But original demand drafts were not sent to the IOCL.

The court noted that the airline, after getting fuel, immediately got the DDs cancelled. Some DDs were not drawn from the bank but faxed to the IOC.

This proved the intention to cheat, it held.

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