Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has spoken about Air Asia scam for months now, and even filed a PIL. He has once again, as usual, been vindicated.
Finally the CBI is presently raiding Air Asia offices including of the CEO's. It is arising from my PIL in Delhi HC
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) May 29, 2018
CBI has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Air Asia group CEO Tony Fernandes and UPA era lobbyist Deepak Talwar for bribing their way and bypassing laws to set up the airline. Raids have been carried out at their five locations in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
CBI held searches at 5 locations in Delhi,Mumbai&Bengaluru after it filed case under Prevention of Corruption Act against CEO of #AirAsiaGroup– Tony Fernandes, Director of Air Asia Bengaluru- Ramachandran Venkatraman, founder of DTA consultancy Pvt Ltd- Deepak Talwar among others
— ANI (@ANI) May 29, 2018
Cases have been registered against Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, the company Air Asia, Travel food owner Sunil Kapoor, aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, director of Air Asia R Venkatramanan, director of SNR Trading Rajendra Dubey and some anonymous government officials. Under the registered case, Air Asia group violated 5/20 rule to get the licenses for international operations and Foreign Investment Promotion Board rules. As per 5/20 rule, a company is required to maintain 20 aircraft and five years of experience to become eligible for the license. According to reports, the agency has alleged that Air Asia group employed lobbyist like Deepak Talwar to lobby with government servants for various clearances, the abolition of existing 5/20 rule of aviation and moderation in regulatory policies.
All this happened before 2014 elections when Ajit Singh used to be civil aviation minister. The CBI stated, “Tony Fernandes wanted the airline to be able to fly internationally from day one and their local Indian partner – Tata Sons Ltd through their nominee R Venkatramanan would lobby to get all government approvals including the then FIPB clearance and amendment/removal of 5/20 rule of Indian International Civil Aviation.”
The so-called aviation consultant Deepak Talwar allegedly used his power to alter the civil aviation-related bilateral agreements between India and various other nations to benefit his business partners in different parts of the world, particularly to gulf based international airlines. He also helped Air Asia in getting operation permits. Deepak Talwar was as notorious as Niira Radia and is believed to have amassed huge wealth during the UPA era by securing all sorts of permits for companies. According to a CNN News 18 report, Deepak Talwar, allegedly during UPA era between 2008 and 2011, amassed wealth of around Rs 1000 crores by amending civil aviation policies of the UPA government to benefit his clients. The prosecution complaint reads, “Deepak Talwar received more than $100 million in foreign accounts owned through a complex structure of Trusts in different tax jurisdictions.” According to I-T officials, the investigation shows that undue favour was given to certain airlines and aviation companies under the supervision of senior officials in erstwhile UPA government. According to CNN News 18 report, allegations against Deepak Talwar are of receiving perks of $9.8 million, $9 and $10.1 million from Air Arabia, Qatar Airways and individual named Abdul Rahim Al Ali, respectively. Accusations leveled against him also includes of providing his services to Dubai based airline Emirates in amending bilateral agreements. Deepak Talwar’s relation with controversies and accusations of involvement in corruption cases is very old. Earlier this month, ED registered money laundering case against Deepak Talwar’s NGO Advantage India in violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). He allegedly misused funds of worth Rs 90 crores through his NGO. His name was also figured in Niira Radia tapes. His name was also found in a register at the gates of the home of former CBI director Ranjit Sinha. Deepak Talwar was very close to Congress members. Name of the senior congress leader, Digvijay Singh appeared in the documents recovered by Income Tax department from the premises of Deepak Talwar.
One must congratulate Swamy for his relentless pursuit against the corrupt and the crooked, by taking down this UPA era crook and unearthing the Air Asia scam, he has proved once again that in a country of phony anti-corruption crusaders like Kejriwal, he is the dark knight, we deserve and need.