Subramanian Swamy enters Tata-Mistry war zone; wants ED probe into Air Asia transaction

BJP member of parliament Subramanian Swamy has written to the Enforcement Directorate seeking a probe into one of the allegations raised by Cyrus Mistry in his tell-all letter to Tata Sons board.

In a tweet late Friday, Swamy said he has started the process of initiating prosecution into the Rs 22 crore payment made to Air Asia by Tata Sons. According to the letter, tweeted out by Swamy, the fund transfer has to be probed for money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

In the letter Mistry sent to the Tata Sons board after his sacking on 24 October, he had said there are "ethical concerns" about certain transaction in case of Air Asia.

"A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore. Executive Trustee, Mr. Venkataraman, who is on the board of Air Asia and also a shareholder in the company, considered these transactions as non-material and did not encourage further study. It was only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately submitted his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a first information report," the letter says.

Subramanian Swamy. PTI

Subramanian Swamy. PTI

Swamy is referring to this part in the letter.

"The Rs. 22 crore payment represent money laundering because it was sent to Singapore, according to my information by the hawala route ans was a bribe for unkown reasons in the transations to set up the illegal Air Asia (India) aviation company," Swamy's letter to ED says.

Swamy had in May moved the Delhi high court seeking “immediate suspension” of flying licence granted to AirAsia India, alleging that it had obtained the licence through “fraud”.

The application challenged the grant of flying licence to AirAsia India by the regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In the plea, Swamy contended that one of the Air Asia officials made a false statement in his counter affidavit filed in the court while the other two had acted with the alleged intention of “misleading” the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the civil aviation ministry and the DGCA into grant of approvals, permits and permissions.

According to Swamy, the next hearing in the matter is on 11 November.

He has sought a reply from the ED in the alleged money laundering issue before that.

After the ugly spat broke out between Tatas and Mystrys, Swamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ltter that a special investigation team comprising officials from CBI, ED and Sebi should probe the "fraudulent transactions" in Air Asia India.

The Rajya Sabha MP recalled that he had in an earlier letter to Modi questioned Ratan Tata's role as Indian partner in Air Asia and Vistara Airlines "in complete violation" of the laws of the country.

Swamy had later in an interview alleged that Ratan Tata is the most corrupt chairman in the Tata history.

Hot on the heels of Mistry's ouster alleging fraudulent transactions at AirAsia India, the Aviation Ministry had said all issues would be looked into and "law of the land will have to be followed" in case of any violation.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Nov 05, 2016 14:31 PM

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