BJP leader Swamy has urged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to widen the probe on the frauds committed by the top officers of Air Asia and Tata Group in the illegal allotment of license to operate in India by violating aspects of national security rules, foreign investment regulations, and civil aviation norms. In a detailed complaint of more than 300 pages to CBI Director Alok Verma, Swamy produced many internal emails exposing the lobbying with Finance and Civil Aviation officials by Air Asia officers and Tata Group officers, who are already under a CBI probe. The detailed complaint and documents submitted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader to CBI is published below this report.
CBI in May last week registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Air Asia Chief Tony Fernandes, Tata Trusts’ Managing Trustee R Venkataramanan and others. CBI’s FIR had alleged that Venkataramanan was lobbying the government to secure mandatory approvals, some of them through “non-transparent means”, including the then Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance, No Objection Certificate (NOC) and the attempt for removal or modification of the 5/ 20 rule. It is alleged that to be eligible for international operations, the company was required to have five years of experience and a fleet of twenty aircraft as per the 5/ 20 rule. The company is yet to get an international flying permit as it currently has only 18 aircraft, said CBI. Fernandes wanted it to fly internationally from the day of getting flying permit granted in May 2014.
In his complaint, Swamy pointed out that apart from the above-mentioned violations, both Air Asia and Tata Group officials violated many rules including national security-related norms in connivance with former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and former Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. He said that apart from Tony Fernades and Venkataramanan, other persons like Bo Lingam, Rajinder Dubey, Sunil Kapur, and lobbyist Deepak Talwar were also culpable in the Air Asia’s flying license frauds. The BJP leader also pointed out the violations in allowing non-citizens in the crucial sector, who were protected by Tata Group.
Swamy said that “the hasty grant of approval of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in a company yet to be incorporated” and which was not engaged in operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services was contrary to the FDI policy permitting FDI only in existing airlines. He said that Ratan Tata-controlled Tata Sons was behind this covert operation and blatant violations of DGCA’s (Director General of Civil norms. Aviation).
Swamy also produced several email communications exposing the lobbying to get the flying license to Air Asia. “In this matter, it is of importance to note that a particular Director (Mr. Ramadorai) of Air Asia India Ltd had not received requisite security clearance from Home Ministry,” said Swamy urging CBI to widen the probes on the entire frauds and violations committed by Air Asia and Tata Group top officials in connivance with former Finance and Civil Aviation Ministers.
Subramanian Swamy’s detailed complaint and documents are published below:
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