Continuing his tirade against proposed carriers AirAsia India and Tata-SIA Airlines, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has urged the Election Commission to restrain DGCA from giving flying licences to them till a new Government takes over.

In a memorandum presented to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath here, he urged the EC to “formally restrain the DGCA (Directorate-General of Civil Aviation) from proceeding any further in the matter till after the new Government takes office after the election.”

“My information is that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is unaware of the principle laid down by the Election Commission in enforcing the model code, that is, no administrative or policy decision impacting the benefits accruable to any section of the society, should not be cleared if there is no operational urgency in the matter,” he said.

He claimed he had information that the DGCA “appears hell bent on issuing the Airline Operators' Permit to these two joint ventures”, even though the Delhi High Court was in “an advanced stage” on the matter.

The court had on May 1 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 Swamy, on July 11.

Besides Swamy, the Federation of Indian Airlines has filed two separate petitions challenging the approvals granted to the Tata-Airasia and Tata-SIA Airlines deals respectively.

Tata-SIA Airlines Ltd is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines (SIA), while AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons, Malaysia-based AirAsia and infrastructre firm Telstra Trade.

(This article was published on May 5, 2014)
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