The Delhi High Court will give its judgement BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking to quash the Air India disinvestment process, on January 6. The matter was listed before a bench consisting of Delhi HC Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.
Swamy who was quoted by ANI says he’s not against the disinvestment process of Air India. “I’m in the favour of disinvestment. I have always believed in the idea of the open market,” he told Delhi High Court as reported by ANI.
Explaining his stance Swamy said, There is a clear statement that the insolvency process is ongoing in Madras HC which passed orders against SpiceJet & therefore it was not entitled to bid. This means there was only one bidder & the bid cannot take place.
Swamy as quoted by ANI further alleged, the bid process for Air India disinvestment was arbitrary, corrupt, mala fide, unconstitutional & against public interest; says it was rigged in the favour of Tata Sons.
The senior BJP Leader has sought to set aside and revoke any action or decision or grant of any further approvals, permissions or permits by the authorities with respect to the present Air India disinvestment process. Swamy, through advocate Satya Sabarwal, has also sought for a CBI investigation into the role and functioning of authorities and submission of a detailed report to the court.
In October last year, the central government accepted the highest bid made by a Tata Sons company for 100 per cent equity shares of Air India and Air India Express along with its 50 per cent stake in ground-handling company AISATS — the first privatisation in 20 years.
On October 25 last year, the government had signed the share purchase agreement with Tata Sons for the sale of national carrier Air India for Rs 18,000 crore. Tatas would pay Rs 2,700 crore cash and takeover Rs 13,500 crore of the airline’s debt.
Tatas beat the Rs 15,100 crore offer by a consortium led by Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.
As of August 31, 2021, Air India had a total debt of Rs 61,562 crore. 75 per cent of this debt or Rs 46,262 crore will be transferred to a special purpose vehicle AIAHL before handing over the airline to the Tata group.