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Monday
July 2018
5:22 AM IST
News Headlines
Congress to set up group on alliances: Rahul        Prepare To Fight 2019 Alone, Amit Shah Tells BJP On Rift With Shiv Sena        Money laundering scam: Zardari declared absconder by FIA        Afghan vice president Dostum escapes blast on return from exile        Sri Lanka close in on whitewash of S. Africa        Hamilton regains title lead after stunning German win        Fakhar Zaman becomes first Pakistani to hit ODI double ton        Govt slashes GST rate on several products        Third party insurance for two, four-wheeler be made mandatory: Supreme Court        Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates        Trump invites Putin to White House in the fall        Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman scores double century in record partnership with Imam-ul-Haq to breeze past hosts        Modi Govt Gets AIADMK Boost as No-Trust Vote Turns Into Show of Strength for 2019        IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Beijing Winter Games program        Indian outplay New Zealand 4-2 in hockey series opener        Samsung, Xiaomi corner 60 pc share of India's smartphone mkt in Q2: Canalys        Indo-Pacific must be free, open and and inclusive region: Swaraj        Indian man shot dead in Canada, two suspects arrested        Trump says looking forward to 'second meeting' with Putin        Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards        
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Business News
In AirAsia Case, CBI To Probe Role Of 2 Former Ministers
 
(New Delhi, May 29, 2018):The CBI would probe the role of two former ministers in the UPA-2 government for helping AirAsia in getting international licence and Foreign Investment Promotion Board or FIPB clearances. The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI claims that bribes were paid to get rules changed and to obtain licences.

The probe agency, in its five-page FIR or complaint, has named 10 accused, including Group CEO of AirAsia Tony Fernandes and Air Asia Director and Tata Trusts Managing Trustee R Venkatraman for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get an international licence for its Indian venture Air Asia India Limited or AAIL.

The CBI has also named Rajender Dubey - Director of Singapore-based HNR Trading Pte Ltd, Sunil Kapur, Chairman Total Food Services, Mumbai and Deepak Talwar, Principal and Founder DTA Consulting, New Delhi and the company HNR Trading as alleged lobbyists who used their influence to get the 5/20 rule relaxed "before General Elections of 2014".

It is alleged that Mr Dubey was instrumental in seeking appointments and facilitating meetings for AAIL officials with officials in the ministry for getting clearances. The CBI FIR said that Mr Kapur, in the month of December 2014 at the coffee shop in the Four Seasons, Mumbai Hotel, along with deputy group CEO of AirAsia Bo Lingam, handed over a closed packet containing Rs. 50 lakh cash to one Sriram, which was given by Bo Lingam to facilitate the removal of the 5/20 rule. In return, the catering contract for the airlines was given to Mr Kapur as "quid pro quo", it has alleged.

The 5/20 rule, which came into effect in 2004, stipulated that a carrier needs to be in operation for five years and possess 20 aircraft to become eligible to fly abroad.

The FIR states that on February 27, 2014, a "secret" cabinet note was moved to do away with clause 5/20 rule, and in March the ministry further moved another note but the cabinet could not give a go-ahead as elections were already notified by the Election Commission on March5, 2014.

The NDA government amended the rule in June 2016, removing the five-year operation clause, though the CBI FIR does not make it clear whether it says the policy change was effected through corrupt practices.

The crime period mentioned in the FIR is from 2013-2016. "AirAsia applied for licences in 2013 and by May 2014 they got air operating permit", a senior CBI official told NDTV.

According to him, the bribe money was paid before general elections 2014. Deepak Talwar got Rs. 17 lakh and Rajendra Dubey Rs. 12.28 crores as consultancy charges. "We are now probing the money trail further", he added.

It is alleged that next year AAIL remitted about Rs. 12.28 crores to HNR Trading Pte. Ltd. of Mr Dubey for a "sham contract" on the basis of a bogus agreement on plain paper. This money was allegedly utilized for paying a bribe to unknown public servants of and others for securing a permit for international operations through Mr Talwar and Mr Kapur who acted as lobbying agents, the FIR said.

According to the Foreign Direct Investment or FDI policy between 2013-2014, foreign airlines were allowed to own only 49 per cent shares in domestic airlines but effective management control must remain with the Indian partner, the agency said.

The CBI FIR also names "unknown public servants" of the Civil Aviation Ministry, the then Foreign Investment Promotion Board, R. Venkataramanan, Director AirAsia, the AirAsiaGroup Deputy CEO T. Kanagalingam alias Bo Lingam.

In a statement later in the evening, AirAsia refuted all allegations. "AirAsia India refutes any wrongdoing and is cooperating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts", the company's director Shuva Mandal said in a statement. "In November 2016, AirAsia India had initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and had also commenced civil proceedings in Bangalore for such irregularities. We hope to bring early resolution to all such issues", it added.


Third party insurance for two, four-wheeler be made mandatory: Supreme Court
Samsung, Xiaomi corner 60 pc share of India's smartphone mkt in Q2: Canalys
Indo-Pacific must be free, open and and inclusive region: Swaraj
Govt working on another verison of UDAN, says Sinha
Talks on between India, Singapore for cruise tourism: Gadkari
Govt doubles import duty on over 50 textile products
Walmart partners with Microsoft for cloud solutions
Niti Aayog working on proposal to replace LPG subsidy with cooking subsidy: Kumar
May announces new 2 bn pounds UK-Italian fighter jet project
Mukesh Ambani beats Alibaba's Jack Ma to become richest man in Asia
Rupee up 19 paise against dollar ahead of key macro data release
Sensex rallies 400 pts to hit record high; RIL shares surge 5%
US dollar ends cheaper against rupee
BSNL starts first internet telephony service in India
Silver futures harden by 0.19% on global cues
Passenger vehicle sales rise 38% in June; car sales up 34%
DoT clears Idea-Vodafone merger with conditions
Goyal asks Coal India to ensure supply for power sector
Higher MSP may have inflation, fiscal costs: Report
Modi govt needs to shed 'obsession' with economic growth: Jean Dreze
KERALA NEWS
Kerala among 13 states on thunderstorm alert
 (New Delhi, May 7, 2018): Thunderstorms accompanied by squall, hail and heavy rains are likel  
Kerala Karshaka Jadha Opens to a Great Beginning / Video
Malappuram press club attack: RSS workers nabbed
Workers injured in mudslide at construction site
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Money laundering scam: Zardari declared absconder by FIA
 (Karachi, July 22, 2018):Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Tal
Afghan vice president Dostum escapes blast on return from exile
Trump invites Putin to White House in the fall
Indian man shot dead in Canada, two suspects arrested
NATIONAL NEWS
Prepare To Fight 2019 Alone, Amit Shah Tells BJP On Rift With Shiv Sena
 (Mumbai, July 22, 2018):BJP president Amit Shah told party workers in Mumbai today that they
Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates
Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards
Unidentified 'intruder' killed at Indo-Pak border: official
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