The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea seeking direction to domestic and international flight operators to refund the full fare of tickets booked for flights that had to be cancelled due to the lockdown.
A bench of Justices N V Ramana, S K Kaul and B R Gavai issued the notice on the plea filed by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell.
The petition requested that the non-refund of the amount be declared illegal and violative of the Civil Aviation Requirement issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation.
It pointed out that the Ministry of Civil Aviation in its office memorandum issued on April 16 had asked airline operators to refund full fare for tickets booked during the first phase of the lockdown period — from March 25 to April 14.
The memorandum had also said that if a passenger seeks refund for a ticket booked during the first lockdown phase for travel during the second lockdown period from April 15 to May 3, the sum should be refunded without levying cancellation charges.
The petitioner contended that airlines, instead of providing full refund, are providing a credit shell valid up to one year.
The plea said the memorandum leaves out the vast majority of passengers who booked tickets before the flight operations were banned, thereby indirectly approving the practice of the airlines providing a credit shell for the bookings.
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