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Air India letting pilot who submitted fake certificate fly?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 7:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

National carrier Air India (AI) has been accused of allowing a senior pilot to fly its planes despite he having allegedly submitted a fake Std XII certificate.

The accusation has been made by the pilot's sister herself, claiming that her allegation is based on information obtained under the Right to Information Act.

The matter seems significant considering the scores of cases under investigation wherein fliers were put at risk due to candidates, who had submitted fake documents, getting flying licences.

The information in this case was sought by Bandra resident Dr Manisha Kanagali, sister of accused pilot Captain Ajay Khadtale, who has around 17 years of experience. Kanagali claimed that AI has been hesitant in giving replies to her queries and the airline provided her with certain documents only after she approached the office of the chief information commissioner.

In one of the internal documents, which AI later sent to Kanagali, a letter undersigned by Shobha Moorthy, manager (personnel) states, "The Bihar Intermediate Education Council, Patna, in a letter dated April 30, 2013, stated that the name of Ajay Khadtale, roll code 1130, roll no. 10549, for the year 1995, wasn't on the records of the Council."

Though AI didn't respond to a detailed questionnaire e-mailed to it by dna, Khadtale said, "All certificates submitted by me at every juncture of my career are genuine. If the Council is not able to find the records of the certificates or if they are untraceable, is it my fault?"

Surprisingly, AI management, in a document, had accepted that the communication sent to them by the Council regarding the verification of Khadtale's certificates was misplaced and the same was sought again.

In 2011, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation had taken strict action against more than 15 pilots working with various airlines on the allegation that they had submitted fake certificates for getting a flying licence.

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