Notice to DGCA, home ministry on chopper firm’s plea

May 9th, 2012 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the union home ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on a plea by Global Vectra Helicorp challenging the aviation regulator’s decision to suspend the company’s operations permit.

Justice Vipin Sanghi directed the home ministry to submit records pertaining to the Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group which operates a fleet of helicopters, and posted the matter for May 15.

DGCA had Monday (May 7) scrapped the firm’s permit after the home ministry raised security concerns. On Tuesdy, Global Vectra Helicorp moved the high court against the decision.

The government has also cancelled the security clearance of the company.

Appearing for the company, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul contended before the court that the order on the company’s operating permit had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice.

“It cannot be disputed that no explanation was sought from the petitioner nor any enquiry conducted prior to taking such serious action of withdrawal of security clearance and suspending its non-scheduled operator’s permit which virtually brings its business to an end,” Kaul added.

Defending the decision, DGCA advocate Anjana Gosai told the court that it had only followed the process suggested by the home ministry, which was acting on grounds of public safety. “MHA (ministry of home affairs) is the main department to give security clearance, we have followed the process. If security clearance is withdrawn of the company by the MHA, the DGCA has to withdraw operating permit,” she said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently probing the alleged role of the London-based Vectra Group chairperson Ravi Rishi in connection with the multi-crore-rupee deal for the heavy-duty all-terrain Tatra trucks and the bribery allegations made by the army chief.

With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company operates onshore and offshore operations for oil companies and also caters to tourist travels in northeast India.

The company runs flights to major shrines like Vaishno Devi and also operates during the Amarnath Yatra.

The Vectra group of companies is engaged in aviation, heavy engineering, real estate, information and technology and security systems.

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