Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea of Delhi Flying Club challenging its eviction from the Safdarjung Airport here, saying the place was now known more as a marriage party venue rather than aeronautical activities.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw’s decision came on the pleas of Aero Club of India Pvt Ltd (ACIPL) and Delhi Flying Club (DFC) challenging the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) eviction order, directives regarding licence fee and show- cause notices issued to the club for non-payment of licence fee dues of over Rs 8.3 crore.
Maintaining that no injustice was meted out to DFC, the court in its judgement also noted that since the club had no share capital, AAI would have no means to recover the amount if it was later held that the licence fee was recoverable.
In such a situation, if the petitioners’ plea to keep in abeyance the increased licence fee was accepted, it would amount to writing off the dues, the court said.
“I am otherwise also of the view that no injustice is being meted out to the petitioner 2 (DFC). The senior counsel for the petitioners during the hearing, on enquiry, informed that only training on simulator is being imparted by DFC.
“The DFC, for imparting the said training, certainly does not need such kind of valuable land and property in its occupation and qua which I as a resident of the city can say is known more now for the last at least ten years as a marriage/party venue than for its aeronautical activities,” the court said in its 35-page verdict.
DFC and ACIPL had also challenged the increase in licence fee proposed back in 2007 and said the Centre had forwarded their representation against the hike to AAI which was not entitled to enforce the increase.
“The Government of India is often approached by various persons/entities for redressal of their grievances against bodies/authorities perceived as under the Government of India and over which it exercises control.
“The Government of India also upon being so approached, often forwards such representations to the bodies/authorities concerned and while doing so may express its views. However, merely because it does so, would not entitle the person/entity aggrieved to claim the body/authority complained against is not entitled to enforce the impugned action,” the court said.