Delhi HC seeks replies from Tata group-Singapore Airlines, govt on plea against flight operation

Written by Kaushal shroff | New Delhi | Updated: May 31 2014, 07:41am hrs
CourtFor now, the court has put the matter for further hearing on July 11.
The Delhi High Court on Friday sought replies from Tata-SIA and the Centre on a plea filed by an airlines lobby seeking stay on the commencement of scheduled air operations of the new venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.

In April, a plea by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to secure a stay on the operation of AirAsia was dismissed by the court in an interim order.

FIA is an airlines lobby group that represents Jet Airways, GoAir, SpiceJet, IndiGo and Kingfisher Airlines. The airlines lobby group, in its plea against Tata-SIA, argued that approval granted to the airlines are a purported departure from the purpose/object of the FDI policy, 2012 adding that permitting foreign investment in greenfield airlines will jeopardise the interest of the existing cash-starved domestic airlines.

The Tata-SIA merger/joint venture will encourage other foreign investors to make collaboration with de novo small investors rather than investing in existing airlines frustrating the very purpose and object of the FDI policy, the plea states.

For now, the court has put the matter for further hearing on July 11. While interim orders have been passed in favour of AirAsia, the matter is still to be disposed of with finality.

Earlier, the FIA had moved the court against the no-objection certificate granted by the civil aviation ministry on April 2 this year. Along with it, the November 2013 decision of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approving 49% foreign investment in Tata-SIA has also been challenged.