AirAsia India, which is being probed by the CBI, on Wednesday said it would be "incongruous" to allege that the control of the airline is not in accordance with foreign exchange investment laws. The probe agency has named the airline, its officials as well as AirAsia Berhad in a FIR for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for its Indian venture, Air Asia India.
In a statement, the domestic carrier said that allegations regarding indirect foreign control in violation of norms were fully investigated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The DGCA passed a detailed and reasoned order in February 2017 and it was pursuant to an investigation exercise mandated by the Delhi High Court, it said.
According to the airline, the DGCA order effectively ruled that the operations and management of AirAsia India was in accordance with FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act), FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) regulations and the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approval granted to it.
"The DGCA order ruled that the terms of the Brand Licence Agreement were meant only for ensuring uniformity of brand use and quality of services and that such terms are for benefit of passengers...
"In this backdrop, AirAsia India Ltd believes that to allege that control of AirAsia India Ltd is not in accordance with foreign exchange investment laws is incongruous," it added.
The airline is a joint venture between Tatas and Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad, where the former has 51 per cent stake. In a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange on Wednesday, AirAsia Berhad denied the accusations and contentions, saying that it believes that "these trumped up accusations are baseless and motivated by considerations that as yet remain unknown".
"Legal action to protect AirAsia and its interests against these allegations will be taken against any person who is known to have maliciously and frivolously instigated, and or smeared the good reputation of individuals and shareholders of AirAsia India Ltd," it added.