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Air Asia India probe: Tata Trusts backs Venkataramanan

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Trusts today came out in support of its managing R Venkataramanan, who is under investigation by the CBI for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for

A combined meeting of the trustees of Trusts was held this afternoon and "reaffirmed their complete trust and continued support to Venkataramanan under whose executive leadership as Managing Trustee, the Trusts have done, and are continuing to do, outstanding work across "

In a statement, Tata Trusts said its trustees also expressed concern over "inaccurate and mischievous reports" giving an impression that its offices were raided by investigating authorities, "which did not take place".

The office of Venkataramanan, in his capacity as a and a nominee of on the Board of Air Asia Limited, in office premises, was visited by the authorities and clarifications sought on some papers relating to Air Asia India, some of which were taken by the authorities, Tata Trusts said.

"The trustees categorically reiterated that the reported investigations have nothing whatsoever to do with the affairs of any of the Tata Trusts and noted that papers and documents relating to the Trusts were neither seen nor called for by the investigators," the statement said.

holds 49 per cent in Air Asia India Ltd.

Last month, the CBI had registered a case against Group Tony Fernandes, Venkataramanan and other officials for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence.

The investigating agency has alleged that Venkataramanan was lobbying in the government to secure mandatory approvals, some of them through "non-transparent means", including the then (FIPB) clearance, no-objection certificate and the attempt for removal or modification of 5/20 rule.

The norm -- which required local airlines to be in operation for at least five years and a minimum fleet of 20 planes in order to start overseas operations -- was done away with in 2016. Now, only the fleet requirement of 20 aircraft is in force, making it easier for new players such as India and Vistara to commence international flights.

Venkataramanan had, however, denied the allegations saying he was wrongly named as an accused in case as he had "little or no role to play" as a at the airline, even as he blamed "revenge legal action" by former chief for the accusations.

"In my capacity as of Air Asia India Limited, I have been wrongly named as an accused by the CBI on operational matters where I had little or no role to play," he had said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 19:50 IST