Will quash Jet deal if there are irregularities: SC

Centre seeks 4 weeks to file response

Will quash Jet  deal if there are irregularities: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday said that it was open to quashing the Jet-Etihad Airways deal if there was any irregularity in it.

Hearing a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the apex court issued notice to Centre for bringing on record a memo sent by PMO to the Corporate Affairs Ministry in which the PMO had allegedly raised serious reservations in respect of the growth of the middle eastern carriers including Etihad.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam sought response from the Centre and Income Tax Department on his plea seeking direction to them to place the transcript of tapped telephonic conversation of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia having alleged references the civil aviation sector.

A PIL filed by Swamy has sought direction to quash the deal on the ground that it was against public interest as the deal was tantamount to squandering of natural resource, sky and air space.

During the hearing, Swamy raised objection over Centre’s failure to file response on his petition.

Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran urged the court to grant a further four weeks to file the response. He also raised the plea of maintainability by saying that earlier, a similar petition, questioning the Air Asia deal, was not entertained by the apex court and Swamy was rather asked to move the Delhi High Court.

“We have already issued the notice in this case after finding prima facie merits,” the bench said.

“If we are convinced then we would certainly set it (deal) aside,” the bench said giving the last opportunity to the Centre to file the response.

In his fresh application, Swamy said the documents (transcripts) were important for the adjudication of the case and the apex court had already ordered the CBI probe in the alleged involvement of middleman in aviation sector which was revealed in conversation of Radia with prominent people.

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