The Supreme Court on Friday said it was open to quashing the Jet-Etihad Airways deal if the PIL by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy succeeded in establishing irregularities in it.
A bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam also issued notices to the Centre and the income tax department on Swamy’s application, seeking to get the transcripts of Niira Radia tapes on record so as to substantiate his accusations on the corrupt practices in the civil aviation sector. Swamy has asked for quashing the deal on grounds that it was against public interest as there has been squandering of natural resource i.e. the sky and air space.
As the hearing began, Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the Centre, sought four weeks’ time to file the response to Swamy’s PIL. He also raised questions over its maintainability, pointing out a similar petition by Swamy on the AirAsia deal was was not entertained by the apex court.
Meanwhile, Swamy requested for an early hearing, saying the government was granting approvals subsequent to the PIL and certain irretrievable changes may very well be made during the pendency.