Update: 04 Jan 2022 12:28 STI
New Delhi [India], Jan. 4 (ANI): On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court reserved the order for Jan. 6, 2022 regarding BJP Deputy Subramanian Swamy’s petition requesting an annulment of Air India’s divestment process and an investigation into the role and functioning of the defendant authorities.
Judicial DN Patel and Judge Jyoti Singh, after taking note of the submissions of all parties, decided to reserve the order and asked the parties to submit their written submissions in this regard.
Petitioner Subramaniam Swamy introduced himself and argued that the application process was arbitrary, corrupt, dishonest, unconstitutional and against the public interest, rigged in favor of Tata Sons.
It is clearly stated that the insolvency proceedings are pending before the Madras High Court, which issued orders against Spicejet and therefore did not have the right to tender. As a result, this means that there was only one bidder and the bid cannot go through, Subramanian Swamy said.
Swamy added that he was not against the divestment process.
“I am in favor of divestment. I have always believed in the idea of an open market,” he added.
“The Tatas are truly part of Air Asia. This case is pending before Your Lordships and you have asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to conduct investigations, including in the role of Tatas, ”he said. noted.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, representing the central government while opposing the petition, said that there are many misconceptions in this petition and no business is pending against the successful bidder. Air Asia facing some cases in 2013 unrelated to the case, it was not even Air India’s bidder, he added.
Divestment is a political decision that cannot be challenged in court. Air India was losing thousands of crore every day, couldn’t have gone on anymore, he said.
Senior Counsel Harish Salve appeared for the Tata Group. While opposing Swamy’s plea, he argued that the successful bidder is a 100 percent Indian company 100 percent Indian owned. The share purchase contract has been signed and everything is in the public domain.
Subramanian Swamy also requested the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the role and functioning of the respondent authorities and to submit a detailed report on the current Air India divestment process exclusively to this Court.
“Every effort” to hand over all Air India operations to Tata Sons by the end of December, recently declared Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Bansal.
Tata Sons won the bid to acquire the national airline Air India for Rs 18,000 crore on October 8, 2021, ending the Centre’s attempts to privatize the indebted airline. Tata Sons, which originally launched Air India with a namesake brand (Tata Air Services) in 1932, made an offer for the carrier under its wholly owned subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd for Rs Rs 18,000 crore.
Tata Sons was facing the consortium led by Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh, who had offered Rs 15,100 crore. Air India’s total debt as of August 31 stood at Rs 61,562 crore.
According to Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the airline’s debt would be taken over by the successful bidder (Tata Sons) is Rs 15,300 crore while the remaining debt of Rs 46,262 crore will go to Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL). Under the terms of the divestment, Tata’s sons will retain Rs 15,300 crore of Air India debt and pay Rs 2,700 crore to the government, out of the total price of Rs 18,000 crore.
The government has previously informed that the successful bidder, Tata Sons, will retain all employees for a year and that the group will have to offer a voluntary retirement plan if it decides to lay off after the period.
The government has said that the interests of employees and retirees will be taken into account in the divestment process. The government will sell its 100 percent stake in Air India, Air India Express and its 50 percent stake in ground handling company AISATS. (ANI)