BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has approached the Delhi High Court with a request to quash the disinvestment process of Air India and stay the approval given to it by the authorities.
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, in a petition filed before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, said Air India’s bidding process was unconstitutional, malicious, corrupt and in favor of Tata Sons.
According to the Bar and Bench report, Swamy has said this by filing a petition in the High Court to quash the disinvestment process of Air India.
Let us tell you that in October, Tata Sons won the bid for the debt-ridden Air India of Rs 18,000 crore.
Swamy in his petition has also sought an inquiry into the role of the respondents in the disinvestment process and submitted a detailed report to the High Court.
The BJP leader said in Tuesday’s hearing that the only other bidder for Air India was a consortium led by the owner of SpiceJet.
He told the court that since insolvency proceedings were going on against SpiceJet in the Madras High Court, it was not entitled to bid.
Swamy said, ‘This means that bidding cannot be done with just one bidder. After the bidding process a report was published in the press that the second bidder has said that he is happy that he participated because if he had not participated, the bidding process could not have proceeded.
Swamy said, ‘He is not opposed to the disinvestment policy, but he has always been a believer in free market.’
The Rajya Sabha MP said that he is raising the issue of unfairness, illegality, malpractice and corruption in the disinvestment process.
He said, ‘I am in favor of disinvestment but in my view it is a big scam. I am complaining of rigging in the process. This is rigging in favor of Tata companies.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the decision of disinvestment of Air India was taken by the Central Government as it was making losses.
Mehta said, “The condition of disinvestment was that when we invite bids, the government will bear the loss and then the winner of the bid will have to bear it.” Nothing is being done covertly.
On Swamy’s claim that SpiceJet was the second bidder in the bid, the Solicitor General said the airline was not part of the consortium that applied for the bid and the pending proceedings against him had nothing to do with the matter.
“One person, Anjay Singh (Chairperson of SpiceJet) was part of this consortium, who was the second bidder and not SpiceJet,” he said.
Mehta also said that the proceedings against another airline AirAsia have nothing to do with the disinvestment of Air India. The Tata Group has a joint venture (JV) with Malaysia’s Air Asia Berhad under Air Asia India.
Let us inform that as of 31 August 2021, Air India has a debt of Rs 61,562 crore.
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai (JRD) Tata founded this airline in the year 1932 by the founder of Tata Company. Then it was called Tata Airlines. In 1946, the aviation division of Tata Sons was listed as Air India and in 1948 Air India International was started with flights to Europe.
The international service was one of the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 percent, the Tatas 25 percent and the rest of the public. Air India was nationalized in the year 1953.
The Center has sold its 100 per cent stake in the state-owned airline, which includes Air India’s 100 per cent stake in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd.
This is the third time that an attempt has been made to sell Air India, in which the government was successful. Earlier similar attempts were made in the years 2001 and 2018, but no one had bid for it.
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