High Court (India)

July 12, 2019

Delhi High Court Dismisses Subramanian Swamy Plea; Asks CBI To Probe AirAsia Lobbying For International Flying Rights

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Delhi High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a report relating to alleged lobbying by AirAsia India while trying to get international flying rights in violation of foreign investment norms.

However, the court dismissed the plea by BJP leader Subramanium Swamy seeking a stay on granting AirAsia India permission to fly internationally.

The CBI has been directed by the court to file its report in a sealed cover and it listed the matter for final disposal on September 26.

Incidentally, the application was filed in a pending petition challenging the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia (India) Pvt Ltd earlier.

The court noted that an interim order was passed in February 2014, declining a similar relief to Swamy on the ground that the court did not have the power to judge the government’s economic policy.

An earlier plea by Swamy had quoted media reports that the CBI has been probing AirAsia India Pvt Ltd in connection with alleged corruption in its attempts to get an international operation clearance from the government.

Earlier, besides the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also lodged a money laundering case against some of the officials of AirAsia.

However the central government had denied earlier that there was any violation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms while granting approval to low-cost carrier AirAsia (India) Pvt Ltd -- a joint venture of Tata Group and Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad.

It had filed the affidavit, in response to Swamy's earlier application, stating that that FDI was permissible in an existing airline as well as a new venture.

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