CBI questions Sunil Kapur again in AirAsia bribery case

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New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) The CBI on Thursday again questioned Sunil Kapur, Chairman of Travel Foods and Services, in connection with an alleged bribery case for getting FDI rules tweaked by AirAsia to get international flying licences.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official said that Kapur was again called for questioning and asked about whom all he met in the Civil Aviation Ministry and about a catering contract to him for in-flight catering by AirAsia.

Kapur was questioned for several hours on Tuesday also by CBI officials.

Earlier, the agency had examined Rajendra Dubey, Director of HNR Pte Ltd, Green IT Com Pvt Ltd and RRT Services India Pvt Ltd.

The CBI action had registered a case on May 29 against Malaysia-based AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, AirAsia India Director R. Venkataramanan and AirAsia Group Deputy CEO T. Kanagalingam alias Bo Lingam and others for alleged violation of norms for getting international flying licence.

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The CBI’s FIR also mentions aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, Dubey and some unknown public servants of the Civil Aviation Ministry and the then Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

According to the CBI FIR, during 2015-16, AAIL remitted about Rs 12.28 crore to HNR Trading Pte Ltd, owned by Dubey, for a sham contract on the basis of a bogus agreement on plain papers.

This was used for paying bribes to unidentified public servants and others for securing permit for the operation of international scheduled air transport services through Deepak Talwar of DTA Consulting and Sunil Kapur, Chairman of Travel/Total Food Services, who acted as lobbying agents.

In its FIR, the agency alleged that efforts were made by Fernandes to get the 5/20 rule of the civil aviation policy changed so that AirAsia could start international operations.

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The rule requires that an airline must be operating in India for five years and have at least 20 aircraft in its fleet before starting international operations.

Fernandes is also accused of “putting pressure” on former AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya to pursue changes in regulatory policies for international aviation in India which would be beneficial to the company.

AirAsia and Venkataramanan have denied the charges, saying the accusations were made with mala fide intention and will be contested in court.

–IANS

aks/tsb

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