SC notice to Civil Aviation Ministry, DGCA over cancelled tickets refund

Topics Coronavirus | DGCA | Lockdown

The plea also sought directions to the Union of India and others for the airlines operating domestic as well as international flights in India to refund the full amount.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to airlines to refund the full amount of air tickets cancelled owing to the cancellation of flights due to lockdown.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai was hearing a petition filed by an NGO named Pravasi Legal Cell.

The PIL said that instead of providing full refunds to its passengers, the airlines are providing a Credit Shell, valid up to one year, which is a clear violation of the Civil Aviation Requirement of May 2008 issued by the DGCA.

The petition was moved against the "arbitrary action" on the part of the domestic and international flights in the country of "not refunding the full amount" collected for the tickets due to the cancellation of flights in the wake of lockdown restrictions.

The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) rule states that "the option of holding the refund amount in credit shell by the airlines shall be the prerogative of the passenger and not a default practice of the airline, the petition said.

It said that the DGCA also stated that in case of credit card payments, the refund shall be made by the airlines within 7 days of the cancellation to the account of the credit-card holders, while in case of a cash transaction the refund shall be "made immediately" by the airline office from where the ticket was purchased.

The plea also sought directions to the Union of India and others for the airlines operating domestic as well as international flights in India to refund the full amount collected for the tickets booked anytime for travel during the COVID lockdown.

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