The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes and others for violation of certain international aviation rules, an official said on Tuesday.
The agency on Tuesday also conducted searches at multiple locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru in connection with the case.
“A case has been registered against Fernandes and some other unidentified persons linked to the firm (AirAsia) on the allegation of violation of 5/20 rule in International aviation sector,” CBI spokesperson RK Gaur told IANS.
The 5/20 rule means that a company needs five years of experience and 20 aircraft to become eligible for the licence, the officials said.
AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian low-cost airline. The case filed by the CBI relates to alleged violation of norms by directors of the aviation company for relaxation of 5/20 rule in the aviation sector to get licences for international operations, as well as violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rules, officials said.
Besides Anthony Francis “Tony” Fernandes, Group CEO Air Asia Malaysia, the company Air Asia, Travel Food owner Sunil Kapoor, Air Asia Director R Venkatraman, aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, Director of Singapore-based SNR Trading Rejendra Dubey and unidentified public servants have been named in the FIR.
Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes allegedly lobbied with government servants for clearances, removal of existing 5/20 rule of aviation and change in regulatory policies, the agency has alleged.
(With inputs from agencies)