Bharat Bhushan and other officials dismiss allegations of freebies for air travel

Friday, Nov 28, 2014,21:13 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Three top officials, accused by Tehelka magazine of abusing their status to get free tickets and other facilities from a private airline, today rejected the allegations as baseless and said there was no truth in them. I completely deny the allegations. These are totally rubbish.
I have never asked for free tickets. When in service, we used to always travel by Air India, former Civil Aviation Secretary K N Srivastava said in his reaction to the Tehelka charges. In his reaction, Kerala Chief Secretary and former DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan said, This allegation is totally false. I paid for my journeys. I have records to show that. I honestly don’t know what they mean by offloading of passengers.
DGCA’s Joint Director General Lalit Gupta shot off a letter to Jet Airways CEO Cramer Ball, copying it to DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar, warning of legal recourse accusing the airline of leakage of its confidential papers. He said that he had paid tickets and government approvals for two official visits abroad on Jet. While one of the visits to Athens was to attend a meet under the Indo-EU Aviation Environment Training Programme, the other one was to Montreal for a conference of International Civil Aviation Organisation as India’s representative, he said.
In a statement issued by INTUC Vice President Jagdish Sharma on his behalf, Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, wondered why he was being targeted. The statement said when I travel by air, people themselves offer me seats in the front rows and it is also not just me but they do the same thing for all those VIPs travelling with them also.
This is done only when the seats in the front rows are vacant and not always. So why only I am being targeted…. The airlines in which I travel, if they had any objections, they would have objected to me but they have not done so. Sharma was also present at the press conference of Tehelka where he raised objections to the targeting of Vadra.