Former civil aviation minister and NCP leader Praful Patel on Thursday requested for another date to depose before the ED in connection with a money-laundering probe related to the losses suffered by national carrier Air India as part of an alleged multi-crore-rupee aviation scam, hours ahead of his appearance before the agency.
Patel (62) has also been named in a recent chargesheet filed by the federal agency before a court as a person known to alleged aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar. He was to depose before the agency on Thursday.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, who was in charge of the civil aviation ministry between 2004 and 2011, has not been mentioned as an accused in the case. "Due to my prior commitments, I have requested ED for another date," Patel said.
The statement of Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP, will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Patel had earlier told PTI that he would be happy to cooperate with the ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation industry.