Court forms bench to hear pleas against Tata-AirAsia deal

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Thursday decided to constitute a special bench to hear pleas seeking quashing of approvals being granted by the Centre to operationalise the $30-million deal between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia.
Chief Justice G Rohini said a special bench comprising her and justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw will start hearing the petitions that also include a PIL filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, on July 11.
In a brief hearing, the bench was informed that pleadings in the matters have been completed and now they can be listed for final hearing. Besides Swamy, Federation of Indian Airlines (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.
Earlier, the court had allowed Swamy’s interim plea to implead DGCA as a party to a PIL. 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.
He has claimed that the official had stated that issues of “substantial ownership” and “effective control” of the airline prior to grant of approval for FDI, was to be decided by DGCA.
However, DGCA in its February 21 public notice had said that FIPB is the competent authority to decide the same and it had examined these issues and taken a decision in April 2013.