The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Wednesday challenged in the Delhi High Court its earlier order holding in abeyance the aviation regulator’s decision to suspend the operating permit of Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group.
The DGCA May 7 suspended the operating permit of Global Vectra Helicorp after the home ministry raised security concerns.
The government also withdrew the security clearance of Ravi Rishi, who is facing charges of irregularities in the supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks to Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), which gave the vehicles to the army.
Appealing before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, the DGCA said that the interim order passed by the single-judge bench should be set aside as security of people was at stake.
The petitioner also said that the operating permit of the firm was suspended after the union home ministry raised security concerns.
The bench will hear the matter Sep 27.
“The court should show restrain and consider the public interest as the primary issue and opinion of the appellants (DGCA and ministry of civil aviation) would not be substituted,” the DGCA said while filing an appeal.
“The single judge has failed to appreciate that there are two separate security clearances/NOC is required – one for the company and other is for the directors.”
“In the instant case, the said security clearances were withdrawn and consequent to such withdrawal the non-schedule operator’s permit issued to the Global Vectra by DGCA was suspended with the immediate effect under the provisions of sub-rule 6 of 134 A,” the DGCA plea read.
While providing relief to Global Vectra, the single-judge bench June 6 had said that it did not find any material on record to justify the withdrawal of the firm’s security clearance by the home ministry.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently probing the alleged role of Rishi, London-based Vectra Group’s chairperson, in connection with the multi-crore-rupee deal for the heavy-duty Tatra trucks for the army and the bribery allegations made by former army chief Gen. V.K. Singh.
The court had also said that there was no “grave urgency” to justify the immediate withdrawal of the security clearance by the home ministry and the withdrawal of the non-scheduled operator’s permit by the DGCA without communicating the reasons to the firm.
With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company conducts onshore and offshore operations for oil companies and also caters to tourists in northeast India.