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Swamy Seeks Disqualification of Tata Sons from Air India Bidding

In a letter to minister for civil aviation, Hardeep S. Puri, Swamy has requested the government to disqualify Tata Sons from Air India bidding process till a plea against the Tata's and Air Asia is settled by the court.

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Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha, Subramanian Swamy has written to civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, urging the government to disqualify Tata Sons from the Air India disinvestment process till a final decision on his plea against Tata Sons & Air Asia India is taken by the court. Swamy had first Tweeted the details of the letter on December 16, which was picked up by a number of media outlets and widely reported.

In the letter to the civil aviation minister Swamy says that in 2013 he had filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the illegal grant of license to Air Asia India, which is a joint venture with Tata Sons. Subramanian further states in his letter that this particular hearing was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the next date is in January 2021.

The letter dated December 14 written by Swamy mentions details of the writ petition and points to the fact that there is also a first information report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation based on his complaints. The letter says the CBI had registered the said FIR on April 28, 2018. The MP also points out that the Enforcement Directorate too has case of money laundering registered against some of the officials of Air Asia for obtaining Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval from the finance ministry.

“In my Writ Petition on 09.07.2018 seeking a status report by CBI and ED in Air Asia India Pvt. Ltd...the order dated 11.07.2019 honourable Delhi High court impleaded CBI as a respondent and had issued notice for the purposes of getting status report with respect to the instant matter in a sealed cover,” a section of the letter said. 

The MP further points out in his letter the following: “I have learnt from various news reports that Tata Group is In the race to buy Air India and has started negotiations with Singapore Airlines to buy out Air India. In public interest and in the interest of justice, Tata Sons and/or with any other foreign or domestic airlines in Joint venture or alone should be disqualified from the process of bidding or any other procedure initiated by the government to buy Air India till final adjudication of my PIL before the Delhi high court and Supreme Court and any/all investigations is pending with ED ot CBI or any other authority probing the subject matter.” 

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