Delhi HC issues notice to Jet Airways in plea seeking full refund of airfare to passengers

Delhi HC issues notice to Jet Airways in plea seeking full refund of airfare to passengers

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to Jet Airways in a plea seeking to ensure that passengers affected by the suspension of the airline’s services either receive a full refund of the airfare paid by them, or get accommodated in alternative flights in other airlines.

The matter was listed for hearing before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambhani.

Filed through Advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi, Dinesh Kumar Dakoria and Bijender P Kumar, the plea seeks a direction to the a direction to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure that the passengers receive the refund. The application also seeks ‘reasonable compensation’ for such passengers.

The application forms part of a pending 2018 writ petition which seeks to impose a cap on airfare in public interest.

With the grounding of debt-ridden Jet Airways, more than Rs 360 crore of passengers’ hard earned money is under threat due to non-refund of the ticket value, applicant Bejon Kumar Misra has contended.

These passengers are now purchasing alternative tickets at highly exorbitant costs due to profiteering by competitor airlines, it is further submitted.

The application further reads,

“Suddenly without prior information or notice, more than 100 flights being cancelled and passengers are constrained to run from pillar to post for managing their urgent official and personal commitments, resulting in huge damages and chaos to seek alternative mode of travel and seats on other airlines, who are profiteering out of an avoidable crisis if respondent No.2 & 3 would have conducted themselves in a more responsible and judicious manner…The airlines are behaving in complete violation of our constitutional rights and encouraging monopolistic practices to prevail in connivance with the respondents.

..there is a complete chaotic aviation crisis looming over the country where the consumers/passengers are victims on account of absence of any robust and effective regulator in the aviation sector in India to regulate the functioning of the airlines in a fair and ethical manner in order to monitor and regulate airfares in the interest of the passengers at large.”

It is the applicant’s grievance that in spite of the growing anxiety and mental agony, neither the MCA nor the DGCA has announced any relief or emergency steps till date.

The application also calls for amendments to the existing laws to make airlines liable for all the damages caused to the passengers and the reputation of our country.

The Court has issued notice in the matter, and has also directed DGCA to file an affidavit. The matter will be heard next on July 16.

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