The Supreme Court today agreed tohear a PIL of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking quashing of the Centre's approval to Jet-Etihad Airways deal.
A bench comprising chief Justice P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said that it would hear the petition on October 8. Mentioning the matter, Swamy said it required urgent hearing in view of the approval accorded to the deal by the Central government.
In the first-ever investment by a foreign airline in an Indian carrier, Jet Airways had on April 24 announced plans to sell 24 per cent equity to Etihad Airways for about Rs. 2,058 crore, as part of a strategic alliance that would lead to a major expansion in their global network. Swamy had in his PIL sought "a direction to set aside and revoke any action or decision or grant of any further approvals/permissions/ permits, etc. by the respondent(govt) authorities, based upon, relying upon or in furtherance of the impugned bilateral dated April 24."
"The petitioner challenges such arbitrary, irrational and malafide act of grant of largesse in the form of bilateral/ MoU dated April 24 and by way of the present petition seeks an investigation under the supervision of this Court into the matters of national and public interest," he has said in his petition. He has also sought a CBI probe against the government officials who had cleared the deal.
He questioned the Centre's decision to execute the agreement in favour of Abu Dhabi under the existing Air Service Agreement between the governments of India and United Arab Emirates. "The actions of the authorities from the execution of the bilateral to the unprecedented haste in order to assist the realisation of wrongful gains by the facilitator are writ large with acts of collusion and abuse of position," the petition contended.