The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to intervene in a petition for a thorough inquiry into aircraft acquisition deals of Air India and its “loss of market-share by giving up profitable routes,'' allowing the Union government's argument that the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament was looking into the issue.
Disposing of the petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, a Division Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “A responsible committee like the PAC is looking into the matter and we are not giving any direction at this stage but expect the PAC to look into the matter from all angles...''
The Bench said: “We hope and expect that having regard to the importance and sensitivity of the matter, the PAC shall try to complete its task with alacrity and should submit its report at the earliest.”
The petitioner had also sought directions to the Central Vigilance Commission to look into the role played by the then Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel in the matter.
The petition, filed in 2010, alleged that the Ministry by its “deliberate and mala fide decisions and actions'' had driven Air India and Indian Airlines into losses to the tune of thousands of crores.
Pointing out that the government had given purchase orders for 111 aircraft, costing Rs. 67,000 crore, the petition said, “This unnecessary expansion was made without any proper study and without transparency.”