Subramanian Swamy seeks HC to direct ED’s probe details against money laundering by AirAsia

Swamy seeks Delhi High Court to direct the Enforcement Directorate to share details of Money Laundering by AirAsia

Swamy seeks Delhi High Court to direct the Enforcement Directorate to share details of Money Laundering by AirAsia
Swamy seeks Delhi High Court to direct the Enforcement Directorate to share details of Money Laundering by AirAsia

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday moved a plea in the Delhi High Court for placing on record the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s probe details on money laundering by AirAsia. He also sought details of news reports on Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asking the Aviation Ministry as to how AirAsia India can operate international flights when its license was under challenge.

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

The application by Swamy was filed in a pending petition challenging the FIPB clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia (India) Pvt. Ltd. Swamy had earlier argued that the flying rights granted to the carrier were in violation of the government’s policy on foreign investment.

Earlier Swamy had produced the forensic report prepared by Cyrus Mistry on the money trail in the Tata-AirAsia deal and leading of money trail to the United States designated terrorist Hamid Reza Malakotipour. The Dubai resident Malakotipour was caught by US agencies for his links with the supply of equipment to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)[1].

CBI has already booked AirAsia CEO Tony Fernadez and Tata Trust head Venkat[2]. In this case, CBI is expected to summon tainted former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and the then Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh for the illegal Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to AirAsia.

The High Court bench on Thursday said it will consider the application on the next date of hearing after perusing CBI’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 bench listed the matter for further hearing on January 23, 2020.

The application by Swamy was filed in a pending petition challenging the FIPB clearance granted by the Centre to AirAsia (India) Pvt. Ltd. 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 BJP MP had also alleged that there were questionable transactions in connection with the setting up of AirAsia India in connivance with Tata Group head Ratan Tata.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (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 the country in a total dubious way and floating all norms in 2013, said many airline operators.

References:

[1] Money flown to terrorist from Tata/ AirAsia deal: Swamy urges CBI to probeDec 2, 2016, PGurus.com

[2] AirAsia Scam: CBI books CEO Tony Fernandes and Tata Trust’s head Venkat. Chidambaram and Ajit Singh to be summoned soonMay 29, 2018, PGurus.com

Team PGurus

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