Will air fares come down? Delhi HC seeks Centre, DGCA’s reply on PIL to cap air fares

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New Delhi | Updated: May 9, 2018 5:53:14 PM

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought the stand of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and DGCA on the plea by a consumer rights activist who has alleged that the authorities were acting as "silent spectators" to the "arbitrary" fixing of fares by the airlines.

The Delhi High Court today sought responses from the Centre and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on a PIL seeking capping of air fares charged by the various airlines in the country. (Reuters)

The Delhi High Court today sought responses from the Centre and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on a PIL seeking capping of air fares charged by the various airlines in the country. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought the stand of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and DGCA on the plea by a consumer rights activist who has alleged that the authorities were acting as “silent spectators” to the “arbitrary” fixing of fares by the airlines. The activist, Bejon K Misra, in his plea, has claimed that capping of air fares was necessary as airlines often charge more than 10 times the base rate when there is a shortage of seats. In support of his claim, he has referred to the recent incident of IndiGo airline cancelling a large number of its flights after some of its A320N aircraft were grounded due to engine trouble.

Misra has alleged that due to the cancellation of these flights, IndiGo passengers had to book tickets at the last minute on other airlines at “exorbitant prices”. He has sought that airlines should not be allowed to charge more than a justified hike in the advance booking fare. The petitioner has said that capping of air fares or guidelines to regulate them are necessary to ensure “greater transparency and accountability” and “discourage profiteering and undue enrichment in the business of civil aviation”. The court will hear the matter next on August 8.

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