NEW DELHI: The Delhi High court on Wednesday adjourned to May 1 hearing on a plea seeking direction to Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure refund or alternate travel arrangements for passengers who had booked tickets with Jet Airways. The airline suspended operations last week.
A division bench presided by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A.J. Bhambhani said the plea was a publicity stunt as it was released to the press before it was heard by the court.
The plea was filed by activist Bejon Kumar.
The plea said the sudden suspension of air services of Jet Airways has resulted into a major crisis for passengers.
“It is common knowledge that more 1000 scheduled flights had been cancelled by Jet airways and the respondents are sitting ideal and leaving the common passenger to their fate…That it is submitted that as per the report available in the public domain, approximately more than ₹360 crore of the passengers/consumers hard earned money are under threat due to non-refund of the ticket value. Additionally, the passengers/consumers have to not only purchase alternative tickets at highly exorbitant cost but also go through lots of anxieties and mental agony," the plea, filed through advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi and Shashi Bhushan, said.
It urged the court to direct the DGCA and Ministry of Civil Aviation for adoption of prompt redressal mechanism for all affected passengers to access full refund of the air tickets with reasonable compensation or arrange alternative mode of travel for passengers to reach their destination as an emergency exercise.
In March, founder Naresh Goyal was forced to cede control of the airline, after Jet Airways, saddled with huge debt, defaulted on payments to banks and aircraft lessors. A consortium of 26 lenders led by State Bank of India has invited bids from potential buyers for the cash-strapped airline. The qualified bidders will have to submit their binding bids by May 10.