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HC questions Centre on delay in deciding Kingfisher's plea

india Updated: Jul 30, 2014 21:41 IST
Delhi high court

The Delhi high court asked the Centre on Wednesday as to why it has not decided since March 2012 the plea of Kingfisher Airlines for security clearance to appoint advocate Lalit Bhasin as a director of the ailing carrier.

"Why is the application pending?," a bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the civil aviation ministry and listed the matter for hearing on August 5 after the government counsel sought time to seek instructions.

"Come back with instructions," the court said.

Kingfisher, in its plea, has sought that its application for giving security clearance to Bhasin be "forthwith considered and decided" so that he can be appointed as a director of the grounded airline.

Currently it has only one director, Vijay Mallya, and as per law it is required to have minimum two on its board, the airline has said.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar appeared for the airline and contended that it had filed the application on March 21, 2012, and thereafter, had sent several reminders, but the plea is still pending.

"Due to failure to consider application of petitioner company, it is unable to comply with provisions of Companies Act 2013 as applicable and requirements under Listing Agreement entered into with National Stock Exchange Ltd (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd (BSE)," the airline has said in its petition, filed through advocates Ajay Bhargava and Diwakar Maheshwari.

The airline has also said that as per a September 30, 2013, circular of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), all stock exchanges have been asked to impose penalties for non-compliance of listing conditions, including submitting of quarterly financial results.

It has said that it has already received letters from BSE on June 12 and June 16 saying the airline is liable to pay a fine of Rs 61,798 and Rs 84,270 respectively for non-compliance of listing conditions and as per SEBI circular.