Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Home News Reports All you need to know: Air Asia scam is another skeleton that has tumbled...

All you need to know: Air Asia scam is another skeleton that has tumbled out of Congress era’s closet

Fresh details have emerged in the ongoing Air Asia scam investigations. According to a report in the Economic Times, internal communications between top officials of the company and its stakeholders allegedly reveal that there were discussions on frequent contacts and pressurising government officials for obtaining clearance in 2013.

In the internal conversations which are currently being probed by the CBI, former Finance Secretary and FIPB Chairman Arvind Mayaram and former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are reportedly frequently mentioned. Former civil aviation minister in the UPA government Ajit Singh has been reported frequently mentioned as well.

As per the ET report, the frequency of the messages allegedly spiked just before the time when the airline was waiting for its No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government. The certificate was obtained in September 2013 and in July-August, notes were allegedly exchanged between Air Asia India executive R Venkatraman and Air Asia Singapore management on putting pressure on Arvind Mayaram.

Ahluwalia is reportedly mentioned in messages as someone who has been approached for influencing state CMs to support company in their lobbying efforts. The messages also allegedly show that there was a concern among top executives of the company on Ajit Singh siding with a rival airline instead of Air Asia and the possibility of him not relaxing the 5/20 rules to favour Air Asia.

Both Arvind Mayaram and Ahluwalia however, have denied any irregularities and tweaking of rules. As per the ET report, they both have also stated that there was no pressure and things were done as per policy.

The Air Asia scam has come to light a few days ago with reports of CBI registering a case against Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes, Travel Food owner Sunil Kapoor, Aviation Consultant and corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, R Venkatraman, Director of SNR Trading Rajendra Dubey and unnamed government officials. It was alleged that rules were violated and undue favouritism was shown while granting an International flying license to the company. As per reports, the 5/20 rule that requires an aviation company to have minimum 5 years experience in the domestic industry and a fleet of minimum 20 aircraft to be eligible to obtain an international flying license was bypassed in the case of Air Asia.

Among the people booked by the CBI, Deepak Talwar is the infamous corporate lobbyist who has reportedly made about 1000 crores between 2008 to 2011 influencing the aviation policies of the then UPA government. He is alleged to have received kickbacks worth millions from different aviation companies for helping them obtain a range of benefits from the government during the UPA rule.

So far it has been revealed that a contract that Air Asia signed with Deepak Talwar had mentioned a promise of removal of the 5/20 rule, obtaining commercially viable slots and even reducing the price of aviation fuel. There was also an alleged ‘success fee’ clause for obtaining regulatory permits. ET has reported that there were covers for bribes to be paid to officials for favours granted to the company. The CBI reportedly believes that these were sham contracts with bogus agreements which were only used to pay bribes and kickbacks to government officials.

Air Asia is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in a Money Laundering case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. While questioning the company’s former CEO Mittu Chandilya, the ED has reportedly learned of an alleged bribe of USD 1 Million being paid at one time to some civil aviation officials. If the ED finds further evidence of such payoffs, it might move ahead to attach the properties of the company and its top management.

The then Civil Aviation ministry and Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) officials are under scanner by CBI and ED for undue favours granted to Air Asia for their operations and expansion in India. CBI had yesterday raided the office premises of R Venkatraman, the Director of Air Asia India, of which Tata Sons is a majority stakeholder. Files, laptops, computer hard drives, iPhones, and sim cards of R Venkatraman were reportedly seized by the CBI.

The case has reportedly stemmed from a PIL filed by Rajya Sabha MP and legal activist Subramanian Swamy.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Watch: Moment when firing broke out and an eyewitness who narrates exactly what happened

The horrific violence that broke out during Durga Visarjan in Munger, Bihar last night has left people wondering as to what transpired that led to the death of an 18-year old boy and left many injured

ABP quotes uncle of murderer Tauseef to whitewash the religious angle in the heinous murder of Nikita Tomar

Javed Ahmed out rightly denied any angle of religious conversion in the Nikita Tomar murder and said that he respected all religions.

Hansa Research says it has no business dealings with Republic TV, Mumbai Police’s leak to Economic Times falls flat

Hansa Research has categorically denied claims made by Mumbai Police which were quoted in a report in The Economic Times.

Bollywood: Actress Malvi Malhotra stabbed for rejecting marriage proposal of Facebook friend

Malvi Malhotra was returning home from a coffee shop when the accused said that he wanted to speak to her

India-US 2+2 talks: Geo-spatial defence pact signed, US extends its support to India amidst border aggression from China

The BECA pact will arm India with sensitive satellite and sensor data and enable it to keep a closer watch on the Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean.

Recently Popular

Editors Guild issues a shameful statement tacitly condoning witch-hunt against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police: Details

After almost two weeks of the witch-hunt launched by Mumbai Police against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, the Editors Guild has finally issued a statement

Faridabad: A month after college student Nikita files molestation complaint against Taufeeq, he shoots her dead

As per reports, the accused initially wanted to abduct the victim but killed her when she resisted him.

Nikita Tomar murder: Taufeeq alias Sajid introduced himself as Rahul, was pressurising her to embrace Islam

On Monday, 21-year-old Nikita Tomar was shot to death in broad daylight outside the Aggarwal college in Ballabgarh, Faridabad

YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary levels serious allegations of fraud against Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official whose video on ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ had gone viral

Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official had uploaded a video about the financial difficulties faced by the elderly couple of 'Baba ka Dhaba'.

18-year-old dead as police open fire at Durga Puja Visarjan procession in Munger, Bihar: Here is everything you need to know

An 18-year-old youth has reportedly been killed and several others injured in the firing that took place on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday in Munger, Bihar

Kerala: Photographer Dia John depicts Hindu deity as smoking weed, deletes picture after outrage

Kochi-based Mukkootil Bhagavathy temple had filed a complaint against Dia John for hurting Hindu religious sentiments
- Advertisement -

Watch: Moment when firing broke out and an eyewitness who narrates exactly what happened

The horrific violence that broke out during Durga Visarjan in Munger, Bihar last night has left people wondering as to what transpired that led to the death of an 18-year old boy and left many injured

ABP quotes uncle of murderer Tauseef to whitewash the religious angle in the heinous murder of Nikita Tomar

Javed Ahmed out rightly denied any angle of religious conversion in the Nikita Tomar murder and said that he respected all religions.

Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions receives show cause notice for dumping garbage, bio-medical waste used during a film shoot in Goa on roadside

Goan activists threatened of taking Dharma Productions and Karan johar to court for breaking the laws of the land.

Weeks after being targeted by opposition parties and media for allegedly favouring BJP, Ankhi Das quits Facebook

Ankhi Das was mired in controversy lately after a WSJ article accused Facebook India of showing bias towards BJP.

Nikita Tomar murder: Main accused Tauseef belongs to a family of influential Congress politicians from Nuh in Haryana

The prime accused Tauseef's grandfather, uncles and cousin brothers are all infuential Congress politicians from Haryana's Nuh

While Munger video shows devotees protecting Maa Durga’s Murti in silence as the police unleashed blows, SP claims they shot their own

Violence erupted in Bihar’s Munger as police resorted to brute force against devotees participating in Durga Visarjan.

Waqar Zaka of Pakistani Roadies fame calls for ‘Digital Jihad’ against President of France

Waqar Zaka of Pakistani Roadies fame called for Digital Jihad against French President Emmanuel Macron.

‘Unacceptable’, ‘highway robbery’: Opposition suffers meltdown after central government makes way for any Indian to buy land in J&K

Following the passage of the new land law, opposition parties, as expected, are up in arms against the central government.

Pakistan’s National Assembly passes resolution to bring back its envoy from France, but there’s a catch

Currently, there is no Pakistani envoy in France as the last envoy was transferred to China three months back. The post has been lying vacant since then.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
469,673FollowersFollow
19,400SubscribersSubscribe