Breaking: Delhi HC Dismisses PIL Filed By Dr. Subramanian Swamy Challenging Air India Disinvestment
The Delhi High court today dismissed the petition filed by Subramanium Swamy, which sought to quash the Air India disinvestment process.
A Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh had heard the arguments put forward by Swamy, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who appeared in the matter on behalf of AirAsia on Tuesday and reserved the matter for pronouncement of Judgment.
Dr. Swamy had contended that the bidding process initiated by the Government of India is illegal, corrupt, mala-fide, and rigged in favor of TATA Sons.
He had further contended that the bidding process was unilateral as the second bidder was a consortium that was headed by the owner of Spice jet, a company that is going through insolvency.
Mr. Tushar Mehta for the Union of India argued that Spice jet was not part of the consortium. He further contended that the government is bearing a loss of 20 crores loss per day and it was decided in 2017 that after the disinvestment, the bidder would be burdened with the losses. This decision is not taken to benefit a particular party, he added. He had further contended that this is a commercial policy decision and it doesn't fall within the purview of the judicial review.
Mr. Harish Salve appearing for the Tata Group contended that the process shouldn't be stalled as the government is struggling to sell the airlines since 2017 and airlines is a tough business and that one makes a small fortune in airlines by having a large fortune.
Swamy, through Advocate Satya Sabarwal, has also sought a CBI probe into the role and the functioning of the authorities, and the submission of a detailed report before the Court.
On October 25 last year, the government signed the share purchase agreement with Tata Sons for the sale of national carrier Air India for Rs 18,000 crore. The Tatas would pay Rs 2,700 crore in cash and take over the airline's debt of Rs 13,500 crore.