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New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday directed the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct an inquiry within a month into the issue of AirAsia India granting operational control to a foreign company—a charge which has been denied by AirAsia.

For this purpose, a bench comprising Delhi high court chief justice G. Rohini and justice Pradeep Nadrajog asked AirAsia India to submit the commercial agreement operating between AirAsia India and AirAsia Berhad to the DGCA within a week.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for AirAsia, told the court that the agreement was a confidential document and that he could consider submitting it in a sealed envelope to the court.

A commercial agreement, known as a Brand Licensing Agreement (BLA) was signed between AirAsia India and the foreign airline partner AirAsia Berhad, Malaysia’s largest low-cost airline, in April 2013.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which represents IndiGo, Jet Airways, GoAir and SpiceJet, along with BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had brought a case challenging the licence granted to AirAsia India, claiming it was fraudulently obtained. They had sought immediate suspension of the licence.

It was alleged that according to the BLA, day-to-day operations of the airline were controlled from Malaysia, violating the substantial ownership and effective control norms.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court refused to direct the Delhi high court to hear the case in a time-bound manner but did ask it to expedite the hearing in the case.

The case will be heard next on 16 December.

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