Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi HC to stall AirAsia’s application for permission to fly internationally
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Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi HC to stall AirAsia’s application for permission to fly internationally

Aditi Singh

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has moved the Delhi High Court against granting AirAsia India permission to fly internationally.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao today directed the Central government and AirAsia to file their objections to Swamy’s application within two weeks.

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

Swamy has also sought a status report from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the ongoing probe into the bribery allegation.

It is Swamy’s case 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.

He has, therefore, sought a stay on consideration of AirAsia’s application until the main writ petition is disposed of.

The application was preferred by Swamy after various media reports surfaced claiming that Air Asia wanted to begin international operation with South-East Asian destinations. The reports also stated that AirAsia was seeking a licence from Centre for the same.

In his writ petition challenging the FIPB clearance to AirAsia, Swamy had contended that the approval granted to AirAsia was in violation of FDI policy. Air Asia is a joint venture between the Malaysian company, AirAsia Investment Ltd. (AAIL), Tata Sons Ltd. and Telestra Tradeplace Private Limited (Telestra). 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.

The matter would be next heard on March 29.

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