Delhi HC dismisses Subramanian Swamy’s plea to stay grant of international flying permit to AirAsia India
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Delhi HC dismisses Subramanian Swamy’s plea to stay grant of international flying permit to AirAsia India

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today dismissed an application filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking a stay on granting AirAsia India permission to fly internationally.

The Court, however, directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file its status report in the ongoing probe into the allegations of  irregular Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia (India) Pvt. Limited in a sealed cover.

The application is part of his petition challenging the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia (India) Pvt. Limited.

After hearing Swamy and AirAsia India, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar refused to allow the application.

…we are not inclined to grant the stay prayed for…the application is dismissed“, the Court said as it listed the writ petition for final disposal.

We want to understand the modus operandi of the investment”, Justice Patel remarked before adjourning the matter.

The Court also took note of an interim order passed by the Court on February 11, 2014, declining a similar relief to Swamy on the ground that the Court did not have the power to judge an economic policy of the government.

Swamy had sought a stay on the consideration of AirAsia India’s application for international operation on the ground that since the challenge to the legality and validity of the principal licence to operate domestic flights in India is sub-judice, the licence to fly internationally should not be granted.

In response to the application, the Central Government had stated that any decision on allowing AirAisa India to operate internationally would be taken in light of existing the rules and policy, and thus there was no need to put the process of consideration on hold. It also clarified that there was no violation of FDI norms while granting approval to AirAsia. It thus prayed for the dismissal of Swamy’s application.

In his writ petition, Swamy had contended that the FIPB approval granted to AirAsia was in violation of FDI policy. Air Asia is a joint venture between the Malaysian company, AirAsia Investment Ltd.Tata Sons Ltd. and Telestra Tradeplace Private Limited. Swamy contends that the same is in violation of the FDI policy, as neither of the Indian companies is a domestic airline operator and FDI is not allowed in “greenfield” companies.

AirAsia was represented by Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar.

The matter has been listed for final hearing on September 26.

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