New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to consider a petition, seeking capping of airfares across the country, and pass appropriate order within eight weeks.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal disposed of the plea which sought a direction to the authorities to frame "guidelines so as to put a cap on airfares and prevent the private airlines here from charging arbitrarily, irrationally and exorbitantly for air flights".
The bench asked the ministry to pass the order as per law and directed it to inform the petitioner about the decision. Advocate Amit Sahni, in his plea, has stated that he had filed an RTI application for information regarding airfares and Ministry of Civil Aviation had replied that these are not controlled by the government.
Citing recent Jat agitation in Haryana, 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 charge such huge amount.
"The private airlines companies have fleeced people even in emergent situation and the government has stood as a mute spectator regarding the same," it has said, adding there is "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 the 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.
In his petition, the counsel has stated "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 airfare thereby leaving the entire decision upon private companies to decide airfare as per their on wish."