A Bharatiya Janata Party legislator in Maharashtra, whose company is accused of tax evasion and human trafficking, has got a reprieve after the Centre stayed an order denying security clearance to the firm, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had made the allegations against Legislative Council member Prasad Minesh Lad on April 4 while denying the clearance. On April 18, the Ministry of Civil Aviation stayed the order after Lad appealed against it. The ministry has asked the agency to hear the company, get a detailed report from security agencies, and pass a final order in two months.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security is the security unit of the ministry.
The company, Krystal Aviation Services Private Limited, provides ground handling services at five international airports in India. It had security clearance between 2010 to 2015. Lad and his wife had 72.7% stake in the company as of March 2017.
The April 4 order had made the allegations based on inputs from a “central security agency”. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had said the charges were “seriously adverse in nature”. It said that the “central security agency” had found that the firm “recruited people and sent them to Dubai” for jobs and then used their documents to “create ghost employees in the payroll of associate firms to evade taxes”.
Lad described the allegations as “baseless and rubbish”. “Till date, there is not a single complaint or FIR against any of my companies,” he told The Indian Express. “We have filed an appeal and now the BCAS [Bureau of Civil Aviation Security] order has been stayed by the ministry. They [BCAS] have not shown us a single complaint against my firms.”
The Krystal Group, to which the company belongs, has been awarded a project from the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission under a government scheme, its website claims.