New Delhi: A Director and a shareholder of Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group, on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against the order of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to suspend its permit to fly choppers. The court is already hearing the plea of Global Vectra Helicorp against the same order, and today its director Raj Menon and a shareholder Rohit Hans, who has 960 shares in the company, approached the court, questioning the DGCA's actions.

The CBI probe against Rishi, who is one of the directors of the company and has three percent stake in it, in connection with Tatra truck deal cannot be the basis for blacklisting a company which has been supplying choppers for various purposes in the country since 1998, senior advocate Parag Tripathy contended while appearing for the petitioners.

On May 7, DGCA has suspended the firm's operating permit after the home ministry raised security concerns. Tripathy contended that while issuing the order, no reason was cited by DGCA and it has not applied its mind while issuing order.

He submitted that Home Ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi has been withdrawn and as a consequence DGCA has proceeded to exercise its power and suspended the non-schedule operator's permit.

Currently, the CBI is probing the alleged role of Rishi, London-based Vectra Group chairperson, in connection with the multi-crore-rupee deal for the heavy-duty all-terrain Tatra trucks for the army and the bribery charges made by Army chief Gen V K Singh.

"This is the commercial operation of the company, I have to fly to Vaishno Devi to take pilgrims there, and to operate onshore and offshore operations for oil companies. Commercial operation cannot be stopped," Tripathy said.

Maintaing that the Directors's positions has to be protected here, the counsel said that because of Rishi the whole company cannot be come to an end. The lawyer also argued, "People have been employed there, we have to pay salaries of pilots and by the time government will come with its preliminary enquiry report, whole of my business would be shut down."

The central government earlier informed the court that a preliminary enquiry has been initiated by it against the Global Vectra Helicorp, and the probe will be completed in three weeks.

"On the basis of preliminary enquiry, we will decide within three weeks whether we want to continue with the suspension order or not, and on that basis, we will pass further orders as to whether the suspension of the permit against the company would continue or not," the government counsel had said.

Justice Vipin Sanghi, hearing the matter, posted it for Friday hearing. The company had earlier contended that the order on the company's operating permit and cancelling the security clearance had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice.

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

(Agencies)

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