New Delhi: After Nirmala Sitharaman took charge as the first woman finance minister, her ministry has started speeding up the pending investigation of high profile cases where ex-cabinet ministers are involved. 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which comes under the finance ministry, has summoned senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former aviation minister Praful Patel to join the investigation on 6th June. 

According to the sources, he has been called in for a case related to a money-laundering probe, which made national carrier Air India suffer an alleged loss in a multi-crore aviation scam during the UPA-era.

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The ex-Aviation minister has been asked to appear before the investigating officer in ED's headquarters. There have been media reports which claimed that Patel had some involvement in the alleged multi-crore aviation scam. 

Official sources said that Patel needs to be questioned based on certain revelations made by arrested aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar and certain evidence unearthed by the agency in pursuit of the case, filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Meanwhile, the NCP leader said in Mumbai that he will be happy to cooperate with the ED so that the agency understands the "complexities" of the aviation industry. 

"I will be happy to cooperate with ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation industry," he said.

The agency has recently filed a charge sheet in the case naming Talwar. It has said that Talwar was in regular touch with Patel. The ED also claimed in the charge sheet that Talwar allegedly finalised various communications addressed to Patel on behalf of Emirates and Air Arabia. 

"There is evidence including e-mail conversations between Deepak and Patel," the probe agency told the court. 

According to the charge sheet, the investigation further revealed that Talwar obtained undue favours for private airlines using his contacts.

"It has been alleged that officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL and Air India, by abusing their official position as public servants and receiving illegal gratification, in conspiracy with other public servants, private domestic and foreign airlines, made the national carrier gave up profit-making routes and profit-making timings of Air India in favour of national and international domestic and foreign private airlines. "This resulted in a huge loss of market share to the national carrier and also led to pecuniary benefits to private domestic and foreign airlines," ED's advocate AR Aditya had told the court.

With inputs from agencies