[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Union Home Ministry (MHA) got a jolt from Central Information Commission (CIC) on hushing up the illegalities committed by Jet Airways. Giving direction on a petition filed by Rajneesh Kapur, Managing Editor of Kalchakra News Bureau, the CIC directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to share the information on the ‘security clearance’ of one Capt. Hameed Ali, a Bahrain national appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Jet Airways. MHA was not willing to share this information on the pretext of confidentiality and also could prejudicially affect the economic interest of the state.
The positions of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and/or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and/or Chief Operating Officer, if held by foreign nationals, would require to be security vetted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
The petition alleges that Capt. Hameed Ali, a Bahrain national, had been working as COO of Jet Airways for more than 7 years without any such clearance, which according to the petitioner is endangering the security of the nation and passengers flying on Jet Airways flights.
As per the DGCA’s Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) Sec.3 – Air Transport Series ‘C’ Part II, 4.1.5 The positions of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and/or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and/or Chief Operating Officer, if held by foreign nationals, would require to be security vetted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
From 2014, noted activist Vineet Narain and his publication Kalchakra was filing complaints in several forums like the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) against the blatant violations and illegalities of Jet Airways owned by Naresh Goyal.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]or seven years the Bahrain national Hameed Ali worked as COO of Jet Airways illegally and after sensing danger from Vineet Narain’s complaint, Jet Airways re-designated his post as Advisor. But if there was an impropriety committed, it cannot be condoned. Jet Airways was allegedly putting pressure on all government organizations to withhold replies under Right to Information (RTI) filed by many persons. MHA did not provide answers to any RTI queries in this regard on the “pretext” of confidentiality, Kapoor said in his appeal to CIC.
Hailing the order Vineet Narain Editor Kalchakra said that the MHA’s conduct is not befitting to Narendra Modi’s style of governance.
In his Order, Information Commissioner criticized MHA for taking its stand in the pretext of confidentiality. “The Commission, is of the opinion that the information sought, if disclosed, would serve larger public interest since it relates to the issue of security clearance of a person who is working as a senior functionary in Aviation Sector and not following proper procedures while granting security clearance to such persons could pose a grave threat to the security and safety of the passengers, who travel by air.”
“In view of this, the Commission, directs the respondent to inform the appellant whether any security clearance was given to one Hameed Ali or not, within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this decision,” said the CIC Order criticizing MHA’s stand. The detailed order of CIC is published at the end of this report.
Hailing the order Vineet Narain, Editor Kalchakra said that the MHA’s conduct is not befitting to Narendra Modi’s style of governance. He said that while the PM is repeatedly emphasizing on honesty and transparency in governance, his most important ministry has been shielding someone who could have dangerous credentials.
Narain further said that Kalchakra has filed several complaints from 2014 onwards with the CVC, MoCA, DGCA and CBI against the corrupt practices being adopted by the MoCA and DGCA in protecting the unethical conducts of Jet Airways. It is unfortunate that even the premier investigating agency of the country, CBI is sitting over the investigation for the past two years, said Narain.
Here is a copy of the CIC order: