The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) has repealed its decision over transferring the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Mr. Sanjiv Gautam from the top post of the country’s aviation regulatory body.
Toursim Minister Jitendra Narayan Dev has initiated its step back from the decision of transferring Gautam and assigning him a new responsibility as the coordinator of a study panel at the ministry, after the Election Commission (EC) queried Minister Dev to furnish clarification over Gautam’s transfer.
The EC has sought clarifications within 24 hours for the MoTCA Minister after a meeting at EC on Thrusday over its decision to transfer Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Mr. Sanjiv Gautam back to the ministry without any confabulates with the EC.
EC’s Press Statement on Thursday stated that the decision of Ministry’s decision to turf CAAN DG was without any accord with the Election Commission. The Election Body has termed the MoCTCA’s decision a violation of the election code of conduct. The EC, according to the statement, has asked why it should not take action against those involved in transferring DG Gautam to the ministry without its prior consent. The ministry has been asked to furnish clarifications over the decision within 24 hours of receiving the EC’s letter. The MoTCA Minister had already submitted its clarification’s to EC on Sunday.
MoTCA minister had violated the election code of conduct. It clearly shows that after the EC’s decision Mr. Gautam could remain in the post. As per the source, Gautam had not left his office at CAAN despite the transfer decision.
Earlier on September 26, CAAN DG Mr. Sanjeev Gautam was directed by the Ministry to stop attending the office and be present at the ministry every day to review the Aviation Policy, formulate strategies for effective implementation of national pride projects, among others.
The EC after analyzing all the documents of Mr. Gautam had concluded that it was a violation of the election code of conduct.
Tourism Minister Jitendra Narayan Dev, following the sub-section of Section 19 of the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act, has bequeathed the charges memo including-11 points on September 13 to Mr. Gautam with the number of regulatory and operational issues. As per the ministry, Mr. Gautam has been blamed for not using the airport development fee for up-gradating Tribhuvan International Airport which now is passing through lot of clumsy problems including the runway crack, parking congestion, etc.
Mr. Gautam had the furnished clarification to MoTCA with 22 pages of clarification along with 1700 supporting documents to Ministry within the 72-hours of the ultimatum from Ministry to revoke all the 11 charges applied to him. But Minister Dev had decided to transfer Gautam to the ministry on September 27 saying that both of his clarifications were not satisfactory.
Mr. Sanjiv Gautam was allotted in the seat of Director General of CAAN in May 2015 for four years. During the tenure, Gautam is attributed by the country’s aviation sector removed from International Civil Aviation Organization’s list of significant safety concerns, an airlines representative recounted.