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Subramanian Swamy terms SpiceJet sale 'major scandal'

First Post logo First Post 21-04-2015

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy may have set sight on SpiceJet's stake sale. At least, that is what one of his recent tweets suggest.

The next major scandal for PIL is the sale of Spice Jet. VHSites send me any media links on price paid, SEBI fraud, Isle of Man etc.

- Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) April 20, 2015

According to a report in the Business Standard, the tweet in question is an indication that Swamy might file a public interest litigation seeking probe into the open offer exemption given to SpiceJet's owner Ajay Singh.

Singh, who co-founded the airline some years ago, had bought a 58.46 percent stake from Kalanithi Maran and Kal Airways for about Rs 1,500 crore as part of a revival plan for the loss-making airline. As of 25 Feb, Singh holds 60.31 percent stake in SpiceJet.

Media reports had earlier said that Singh might be able to get an exemption from making open offer for more shares in SpiceJet. According to Sebi rules, an entity buying 25 percent stake in a listed company has to make an open offer for public shareholders to buy an additional 26 percent stake.

According to sources cited in the BS report, Swamy has already written to the Prime Minister's Office and other authorities on the issue.

SpiceJet has declined to comment to the BS on the development.

This is the second time in the recent past the BJP leader is training his guns on the aviation sector. Earlier, he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the controversial bilateral pact between India and the UAE that increased the Emirates-based airlines' seats on the Indian sector to 36,670 a week. The agreement coincided with the Jet-Etihad stake deal as was seen as a quid pro quo by the Indian government for funding Jet Airways.

However, this time it is different. While Swamy is a senior BJP leader, Singh too has links with the party. Singh has even been credited with coining the BJP's hit election slogan "Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar".

If indeed Swamy rakes up the issue, it is going to be an interesting battle to watch out for.

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