The clearance granted to the USD 30 million deal between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia is “illegal” and in contravention to FDI policy, 2012, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today told the Delhi High Court.
Arguing before a special bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, he alleged that the joint venture (JV) between Tata and AirAsia had to show before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that the airline would be essentially controlled by Indians, but this has not been done.
“In 2012-13, the Union Cabinet felt that few domestic airlines were suffering from crunch of funds. In order to rescue these ailing airways 49 per cent FDI was allowed.
“However, this was subject to conditions like substantial ownership and effective control of the airline being vested in Indian nationals. This was overlooked by FIPB and the clearance granted is illegal. I am seeking a judicial review on this ground,” Swamy said.
Tata and other stakeholders in the matter will argue after Swamy and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) conclude their arguments.
Besides Swamy, FIA has filed two separate petitions challenging the approvals being granted to Tata-AirAsia and Tata-SIA Airlines deals respectively.
Tata-SIA Airlines Ltd is a joint venture between Tata and Singapore-based SIA Airlines and Tata-AirAsia is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia.
Swamy, in his another application, has sought initiation of contempt proceedings against an official of finance ministry for allegedly making false statement in a reply filed on behalf of the Centre on October 25 last year.