Swamy moves HC for status report in AirAsia case

Swamy moves HC for status report in AirAsia case

Seeks direction to CBI, ED

Gandhinagar: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy speaks during the second day of Youth Parliament of India 2018, in Gandhinagar on July 15, 2018. PTI

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the CBI and ED to file status reports in connection with their probe into alleged lobbying by AirAsia India while trying to get an international flying licence by manipulating policies and violation of foreign investment norms.

The plea came up for hearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar which said it will hear it on October 10.

The application was filed in a pending petition by Swamy and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which is a group of private airlines like Jet Airways, Indigo, Spicejet and GoAir, challenging the flying licences granted to AirAsia India and Vistara.

In the application, he said he had sent a complaint and letters to the CBI in March and July regarding the investigation against AirAsia for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation.

He said as per media reports, the CBI has been probing AirAsia India Pvt Ltd in connection to the alleged corruption in attempts to get an international operation clearance from the government.

Besides the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also lodged a money laundering case against some of the officials of AirAsia in the matter.

The application said that the investigations conducted by the CBI and the ED are very relevant and crucial for adjudication of this petition since it has raised questions on the decisions and issues which are being probed by the agencies.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the plea saying the CBI is investigating the case on its own and not on court directions, so the court cannot ask for a status report from the probe agency.

Swamy had earlier argued that the flying licences granted to the carriers, which are joint ventures of Tata Group with Malaysia based AirAsia Berhad and Singapore Airlines, were in violation of the government's policy on foreign investment.

He had said that according to the policy, foreign investment was allowed only in existing airlines and was not meant for floating or starting a new airline, like Vistara and AirAsia India.

The BJP MP had also alleged that there were questionable transactions in connection with the setting up of AirAsia India.

The FIA had earlier alleged that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was "deliberately turning a blind eye" to the issue.

Malaysia's largest budget-carrier AirAsia had set up the joint venture, AirAsia India, with the Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace to launch the regional airline in India.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines and is a full-service airline. 

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