‘Lobbyist’ questioned over AirAsia malpractices

The CBI has grilled ‘lobbyist’ Rajender Dubey in connection with alleged malpractices by AirAsia India Limited and its promoters while trying to get international flying licences by manipulating policies.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has also summoned group CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes to appear before it on June 6 for questioning in the case, media reports said.
Dubey, promoter of Singapore-based HNR Trading Pte. Ltd, was called at the agency headquarters where he was questioned at length about the meetings he allegedly arranged for the executives of AirAsia India and its promoters in the power corridors, they reportedly said.
The CBI also asked him about more than Rs 12 crore which were allegedly remitted to his company under the garb of a “sham” contract signed with AirAsia India, a PTI report quoted the official as saying.
The agency has alleged that Dubey had played a role as a liaison agent and was instrumental in seeking appointments and facilitating meetings for officials of the airline with the various government officials for clearance of formalities, the sources reportedly said.
“During the year 2015-16, AirAsia (lndia) Limited remitted about Rs 12.28 crore to HNR Trading Pte. Ltd., Singapore for a sham contract on the basis of a bogus agreement on plain paper, which was utilised for paying bribe to unknown public servants of Government of lndia and others for securing permit for operation of international scheduled air transport services,” the CBI has alleged in the FIR.
The agency has alleged that two more lobbyists were roped in for distributing the money further, reported PTI.
After the registration of the FIR, CBI spokesperson R K Gaur had said that the accused promoters of the company and board of directors allegedly entered in criminal conspiracy with unidentified government officials through lobbyists to expedite the approval process for AirAsia India and change in aviation policies to suit the company, the report highlighted, adding that the airline’s India unit has only 18 aircraft.

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