Delhi: HC seeks govt's reply on plea seeking capping of airfares
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation after it was informed that the government has failed to comply with its earlier direction asking them to decide the issue.
The court on July 20 had disposed the plea with direction to the ministry to consider the issues raised before it and pass an appropriate order in accordance with law within eight weeks. The court has fixed the matter for further consideration on December 19.
Advocate Amit Sahni, in his plea, stated that "he had filed an RTI application seeking information regarding airfares and the ministry has replied that these are not controlled by the government."
Citing the Jat agitation in Haryana earlier this year which reportedly forced some passengers to pay over Rs 90,000 for their journey, the plea has said if there would have been a cap, the airlines could not charged such huge amounts.
"The private airlines companies have fleeced people even in emergent situation and the government has stood as a mute spectator," the plea said, adding there is an "urgent need to regulate the upper limit of airfares so that the private airlines could not fleece their customers as per their own wish."
Capping of airfares in the backdrop of passengers complaints of arbitrary tariff hikes was recently ruled out by the government which had said competition among airlines would take care of the problem.
The ministry had said that "restricting the airfares will not make good business sense as it could also jeopardise the government's regional connectivity plan, as such a move may discourage airlines from flying on non-profitable routes"
In his plea, the counsel said "it is totally unfair on the part of respondents Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Director General of Civil Aviation to state that they cannot regulate the airfare thereby leaving the entire decision upon private companies to decide airfare as per their on wish."