Refund Of Airfare: SC Allows Airlines & Stakeholders To File Reply To Centre’s Proposals On Flight Tickets Cancelled Due To Lockdown

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted 10 days to airlines and other stakeholder to file their reply to the Centre’s affidavit stating that tickets booked by passengers in domestic and international carriers for air travel between March 25 to May 3, will be fully refunded.

A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah sought a clarification from the Centre on the issue of refund of flights cancelled after resumption of normal operations after lockdown. The bench also sought to know off the Centre’s proposal will cover the tickets which were booked during the pre-lockdown period.

Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram, appearing for the Air Passengers Association of India submitted that the petitioner was largely agreeable with the proposal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation except for one or two things.

While the Advocates appearing for different airlines companies sought their reply in relation to the above question, however Justice Bhushan disagreed and stated that “It is the passenger who paid the money. Why should the credit shell go to the operator?”

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) filed an affidavit stating that tickets booked by the passengers in domestic and international carriers for travel between the said dates will be refunded. The centre had also clarified neither the provisions of CARs were superseded nor the same was place under suspension.

The petitioner also earmarks the rationale to this by stating that the question of anyone booking a ticket during the lockdown does not arise since passenger flights  had already been cancelled and that this makes the Office Memorandum dated April 16 ‘ambiguous’ and ‘devoid’ of any logic whatsoever.

Devika Paliwal
I am Devika Paliwal, student of BBA LLB (Hons.) spz. in Banking and Finance at University of Petroleum and energy Studies, Dehradun. I have gained experience by interning at various places such as Law firms, High court, RERA Court, etc. Being a law student my area of interest lies in Banking laws, Criminal laws, Corporate laws. I'm an inquisitive person and always like to brush up my skills by reading more and more. Apart from indulging in academics, I'm really fond of cooking delicacy food.