Delhi HC issues notice to Jet Airways on consumer plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Jet Airways on a plea seeking prompt redressal of consumer complaints in the wake of the ongoing crisis.

A Division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Ministry of Civil Aviation to file a reply on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on July 16.

The application was filed by consumer rights activist Bejon K. Misra, whose earlier plea seeking capping of air fares charged by various airlines in the country, is still pending before the court.

In the interim application, the petitioner claimed that passengers had been severely affected owing to the sudden suspension of Jet Airways services and sought directions to the government to allow them a full refund on their tickets with a reasonable compensation, or to arrange for alternative travel for them to reach their destinations.

The petitioner’s counsel Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi said that with more than 100 flights cancelled without prior notice, passengers were constrained to run from pillar to post to manage their urgent official and personal commitments.

The need to seek alternative modes of travel, or seats, on other airlines urgently was resulting in chaos as other airlines were profiteering out of the crisis, he said.

“It is common knowledge that all the competitor airlines have exorbitantly increased their fares and the vulnerable consumers are constrained to suffer not only in terms of money but also in terms of mental harassment of an unprecedented scale,” read the application.

Misra had earlier told the court that the authorities were behaving like “silent spectators” to the “arbitrary” air fares. He said that in the absence of any effective aviation sector regulator, there is a looming crisis in the country.