SC refuses to stay hike in ground handling charges

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2012, 06:25am hrs
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the governments order asking private airlines to shell out higher royalty charges under the new ground handling policy.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur declined to stay such hike after an application filed by the Federation of Indian Airlines alleged that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has increased the royalty by nearly three times since August 1.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi and counsel Buddy Ranganadhan, appearing for the Federation, pleaded that it is a violation of apex court order of May 5, last year which had directed the Centre to maintain status quo pertaining to ground handling charges.

The bench, however, was not satisfied and asked the Federation to file a fresh petition before an appropriate authority. The SC in May last year had ordered status quo on the dispute over ground handling in the six major airports in the country. The airlines, like Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Indigo earlier challenged the new policy by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) before the Delhi High Court. But their petitions were dismissed.