New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a PIL seeking a reduction or setting up of a cap in air travel fares to the Gulf countries.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, disposed off the plea on Wednesday, saying that it would be appropriate for the petitioners — Kerala Pravasi Association and others — to take recourse before the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
The petition said airline companies are penalising Indian travelers by increasing fares when the right to travel abroad is an integral part of the right to dignity and personal liberty as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.
The plea, filed through advocates Kuriakose Varghese and V. Shyamohan of Kmnp Law, challenged Rule-135 of the Indian Aviation Act empowering airlines to fix ticket prices.
It said that the airlines have been given unfettered power to fix the tariff since there are no guidelines or clarity on tariff fixation.
The Association had also moved a similar petition in the Delhi High Court against the action of the airline companies.
However, the High Court dismissed the plea as withdrawn giving liberty to file a detailed and exhaustive representation to the Director General of Civil Aviation.
In 2022, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture recommended that a balance must be maintained between the commercial interests of the airlines and the interest of the passengers, adding that the Ministry of Civil Aviation should maintain a close watch on the fare pricing by the airlines to ensure that it is not exorbitant.