Subramanian Swamy Seeks High Court Nod To File More Documents In AirAsia Case
The AirAsia Bhd. logo is displayed on model aircraft. (Photographer: Ian Teh/Bloomberg)

Subramanian Swamy Seeks High Court Nod To File More Documents In AirAsia Case

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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday moved a plea in the Delhi High Court for placing on record news reports that Prime Minister's Office has asked the Aviation Ministry as to how AirAsia (India) Pvt. Ltd. can operate international flights when its license was under challenge.

Swamy, in his application before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, also said that according to the reports a case has been registered by the Enforcement Directorate against some officials of the airline and urged the court to direct the ED to file a status report.

The bench said it will consider the application on the next date of hearing after perusing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s report, filed in a sealed cover, on alleged lobbying by AirAsia India to get international flying rights in violation of foreign investment norms.

The report was filed by the CBI on the high court's direction.

The bench listed the matter for further hearing on Jan. 23, 2020.

The application by Swamy was filed in a pending petition challenging the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia.

He had in July moved a plea to stay the airline's application for permission to operate international flights. The high court had dismissed the same.

In his earlier application, Swamy had said that according to media reports, the CBI has been probing the airline in connection with alleged corruption in attempts to get an international operation clearance from the government.

Besides, the ED lodged a money laundering case against some of the officials of AirAsia in the matter.

Swamy had earlier argued that the flying rights granted to the carrier was 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 AirAsia India.

The Centre had denied that there was any violation of foreign direct investment norms while granting approval to low-cost carrier AirAsia -- a joint venture of Tata Group and Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad.

It had said that FDI was permissible in an existing airline as well as a new venture.

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

The Federation of Indian Airlines had earlier alleged that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation 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 the country.

Also read: AirAsia To Start Daily Flight On Delhi-Jaipur Route From Oct. 20

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