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Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy

New Delhi, The Supreme Court today asked BJP leader to amend his plea, seeking quashing of alliance between Jet Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, by also challenging the bilateral agreement between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on increasing number of flights between the two countries.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit also asked Swamy to implead other airlines as parties to the list as they may also get affected if court decides in favour or against the Jet-Etihad deal.

Swamy later said he would make Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), Air India, IndiGo and Spicejet party in the case.

During a brief hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Narsimha, appearing for the Centre, defended the deal saying that the agreement between two sovereign nations is an international treaty and cannot be challenged like this.

“How can this agreement become treaty?” the bench asked, adding that the Centre has not filed the entire records and observed, “You (Centre) have not filed the entire thing. You are taking us by surprise”.

“The Parliamentary sub-committee and the CAG have opposed the agreement and this was done by previous UPA government to help Etisalat which lost a lot money due to cancellation of 2G spectrum licenses,” Swamy said, adding that it is a scam running into nearly Es 9,500 crore.

The seat-sharing agreements between India and UAE adversely impacts Indian interests, he said.

Swamy has 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 and lions share of seats goes to Etihad and various Indian carriers would lose.

The court has now fixed the plea, post amendment, for further hearing on July 19.

Swamy, in his plea, is seeking to quash the deal on the ground that it was against public interest as there has been squandering of natural resource i.e. the sky and air space.

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