Times Now: New Delhi: Monday, May 08, 2017.
Denying allegations of charging airline passengers arbitrarily and exorbitantly at the time of agitations in any state of India, aviation regulator DGCA responded to a plea in the Delhi High Court.
The plea sought capping of airfares across the country to avoid being 'fleeced' by airlines. The submission by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation was made before a bench headed by Acting Chief, Justice Gita Mittal.
Defending price hike during emergency situations, the DGCA told the court, transportation by road and rail are affected and only air transportation is available due to which the demand for air travel increases leading to rise in fares.
"However, it is denied that the charges are irrational or arbitrary as the same are governed by the market forces, availability and circumstances," the DGCA said in its affidavit filed in the court.
The PIL filed through advocate Amit Sahni has urged the court to direct the authorities to frame "guidelines so as to put a cap on airfares and prevent the private airlines from charging arbitrarily, irrationally and exorbitantly for air flights."
In response to a RTI filed by the petitioner regarding airfare rates, Civil Aviation Ministry responded that it doesn't control airfare rates.
The petition alleged that during the Jat agitation in Haryana last year, private airlines charged exorbitant amounts from passengers and sought that a cap be put on airfares.
"Private airlines companies have fleeced people even in emergent situations and the government has stood as a mute spectator. There is an urgent need to regulate the upper limit of airfares so that private airlines cannot fleece their customers as per their own wish," the plea said.
Terming the allegations as baseless, the DGCA refuted the claims made by the petitioner.
The DGCA had earlier said that competition between airlines would take care of the issue of pricing, in response to complaints by passengers.