HC notice to Centre on FIA plea against go-ahead to AirAsia

Mar 06 2014, 09:30 IST
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The case will now come up with Swamy's plea on March 3. Reuters The case will now come up with Swamy's plea on March 3. Reuters
SummaryThe case will now come up with Swamy's plea on March 3.

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre on a plea by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) which is opposing the go-ahead given to AirAsia to begin its flight operations in India.

Justice Manmohan also issued notice to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), but tagged the petition of FIA with Subramanian Swamy's plea, on the same issue and which is before a division bench of the high court.

However, the division bench on February 11 had dismissed two interim pleas of Swamy seeking a stay on grant of further approvals to operationalise the airline deal, saying the Centre cannot be "precluded" from "amending or clarifying" its policy.

In its plea, FIA has sought quashing of the approval granted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to the airline, which is a USD 30 million joint venture of Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad.

FIA has moved the high court after the Director General of Civil Aviation on February 21 granted a permit to AirAsia to commence its scheduled air operations.

In its petition, the federation has also sought that AirAsia be "restrained from commencing business as an airline operator in India".

The case will now come up with Swamy's plea on March 3.

Swamy, on being ordered by the apex court, had filed the PIL in the high court seeking various reliefs including setting aside of all "approvals/permissions" granted to the Tata-AirAsia joint venture.

He had also filed two applications, which were decided today, seeking interim relief of stay on decision taken on April 3, 2013 by the Centre and restraining it from granting any further approval/NOC to the joint venture.

Swamy's PIL has opposed clearance to the deal on the ground that according to government policy, foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49 per cent is allowed in existing airlines which are already in operation and not to new or proposed joint ventures.

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