High Court judge recuses from hearing Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal’s plea against LOC

A Delhi High Court judge recused himself on Friday from hearing Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal’s plea challenging a look out circular (LOC) issued against him barring him from travelling outside the country.

When the matter came up for hearing before Justice Vibhu Bakhru, he said that “this matter will have to go before another bench” and directed that it be listed before another judge on July 9.

The judge, however, did not give any reasons for recusing from the matter.

According to Goyal’s plea, the LOC was issued against him on the request of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

He has sought quashing of the LOC as well as several office memorandums which lay down the guidelines for issuing the travel ban.

Goyal said he came to know of the LOC on May 25 when he and his wife, Anita, were offloaded from a flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London.

He has contended that no ECIR/FIR has been registered against him and he has not been named as an accused in any case warranting issuance of the LOC.

According to the MCA, the LOC was issued after an inspection by the ministry found large-scale irregularities at Jet Airways, which shuttered operations in April due to acute cash crunch.

Naresh and Anita Goyal had resigned from the board of Jet Airways, which the former founded 26 years ago, in March following a debt restructuring plan.

He had also resigned as the airline’s chairman.

Jet Airways is undergoing insolvency proceedings.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also ordered a probe by SFIO into the affairs of Jet Airways.

Delhi High Court issues notice to Jet Airways on plea for refund and alternative flights to passengers

The High Court has also asked the Centre and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation to respond to the plea by next date of hearing on July 16.
The Delhi High Court on May 1 issued notice to Jet Airways on a plea seeking refund or alternative mode of travel to passengers who had booked tickets with the airways which has shut all domestic and international flights.

The High Court additionally asked the Centre and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to also respond to the plea by next date of hearing on July 16.

Activist Bejon Kumar Misra, in his application, said the sudden suspension of all flights of Jet Airways has resulted in a major crisis for the passengers who were not informed about it earlier.

The plea has sought direction to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA to adopt prompt redress mechanism for all affected passengers to access full refund of air tickets with reasonable compensation or arrange alternative mode of travel for them to reach their destination.

“It is common knowledge that all competitor airlines have exorbitantly increased their airfares and the toothless and vulnerable consumers are constrained to suffer not only in terms of money, but also in terms of mental harassment of unprecedented scale,” the plea said.

“The passengers have to not only purchase alternative tickets at highly exorbitant cost, but also go through lots of anxieties and mental agony. This has resulted in profiteering by other airlines at the cost of the passengers and till date no relief has been announced by the respondents [Centre and DGCA],” it added.

“There is a complete chaotic aviation crisis looming over the country where the consumers/passengers are victim on account of absence of any robust and effective regulator in the aviation sector in India to regulate the functioning of the airlines in a fair and ethical manner in order to monitor and regulate airfares,” the plea said.

“It is submitted that as per the report available in the public domain, approximately more than ₹360 crore of the passengers/consumers hard earned money are under threat due to non-refund of the ticket value,” it said.

Jet asked to compensate passengers who missed flight

Jet Airways has been penalised for a Jaipur-Mumbai flight delay which resulted in two passengers missing its international flight to Hong Kong. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has hauled up the airline for deficiency in service.

The national commission, in a recent order, said: “Staff of Jet Airline knew that passengers Vandana Jain and Subhash Bhatnagar had short time due to delayed arrival of their flight and they would need to be transported to the international terminal. But no such assistance was provided.”

The airline was directed to pay the two passengers Rs.50,000 together with costs of Rs.25,000 and reimburse the cost of tickets that they bought on Cathay Pacific for reaching Hong Kong. The passengers were to travel from Jaipur to Hong Kong via Mumbai. Both sectors of the journey were to be performed on Jet Airways.

Commission Presiding Member Vinay Kumar dismissed Jet Airways’ defence that the flight from Jaipur landed late in Mumbai due to air traffic congestion, thus preventing the two passengers to board on time the plane scheduled to fly out of Mumbai to Hong Kong.

“This cannot be accepted, if Jet Airways schedules a flight to land at Mumbai airport at a particular time and another connecting flight to take off at a particular time, it must provide for time required in all services/functions including security, immigration and air traffic management, which are necessarily concerned with or mandated for such landing and departure. The travelling public is in no way responsible for delay caused by any of them,” said Vinay Kumar.

The passengers’ complaint said the Jet flight from Jaipur to Mumbai arrived at 11.40 p.m. instead of its scheduled arrival of 10.20 p.m. Due to the delay of 80 minutes, they could not take the connecting Jet Flight to Hong Kong despite having boarding cards for the Mumbai-Hong-Kong flight issued to them at Jaipur itself.

According to Jain and Bhatnagar, this was due to delay in operating the airport shuttle and long immigration and security queues for boarding.

The airline staff allegedly failed to make arrangements for putting them in the next flight to Hong Kong and advised them to buy fresh tickets for the next day, the two said, adding that they were forced to buy tickets on another airline for reaching Hong Kong.

The national commission slammed Jet Airways and said: “Having issued tickets for both sectors of the journey on two flights of their own airline, the airline had a clear obligation to ensure that the passengers boarding at Jaipur are able to board the connecting flight (to Hong Kong) at Mumbai.”

“This obligation becomes more direct and inescapable due to delayed arrival of the Jaipur-Mumbai flight,” said Vinay Kumar.

The national commission also saw through Jet Airways’ attempt to blame the immigration and security personnel at Mumbai airport for the two passengers missing the Hong Kong flight.

“This bland claim, in the absence of any evidence of assistance provided by the Jet Airways staff, is at best a very feeble attempt to pass on the blame to others for their own lapse,” said Vinay Kumar, dismissing Jet Airways’ contention.

Endorsing the Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s Jan 28 finding on Jet Airways’ deficiency in service, the apex consumer commission noted that the problem of delay in immigration and security checks was caused only by delayed arrival of the Jaipur-Mumbai Jet flight.

“The airline staff failed to give the necessary help and assistance even when boarding passes had already been issued to the passengers for the Jet flight to Hong Kong.”

“The staff of Jet Airlines knew that the passengers had short time due to delayed arrival of their flight and they would need to be transported to the international terminal. But no such assistance was provided,” said the national commission.

“There was also no material to prove that the two passengers were offered seats in the next flight to Hong Kong. Therefore, the state commission held it to be a case of deficiency of service on the part of Jet Airways,” said Vinay Kumar.

Jet Airways now has the option of appealing against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

(Source: IANS)

Will not ship animals: Jet Airways to PETA

Jet Airways has assured People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in writing that it does not and will not transport animals destined for laboratory experiments.

In a reply to PETA’s letter inquiring about Jet Airways’ policy regarding shipments of animals to laboratories, Mohammad Ali El Ariss, Jet Airways’ vice president of cargo, stated: “We refuse to carry live animals for laboratory experiments.”

PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr. Chaitanya Koduri said, “Jet Airways is now among the enlightened airlines that refuse to transport dogs, cats and other animals to laboratories, where they would suffer and die”

“Jet Airways has set an example for the dwindling number of airlines, including Air India, that still profit from animal suffering.”

According to PETA, several major airlines have full or partial policies against transporting animals for experimentation.

However, PETA said that one of the exceptions is Air India which, despite repeated assurances to PETA that it would not transport animals for use in experiments, continues to profit from the cruel trade of shipping animals to laboratories.

“Every year, experimentation facilities across India squander valuable time and resources as well as millions of rupees by conducting experiments on monkeys, dogs, rabbits, rats, mice and other animals, even though animal experiments often do not reliably predict specific consequences for human health.”



Court notice to airlines, DGCA on high fares

Allahabad High Court Monday issued notices to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the management of Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Go Air, IndiGo and other private airlines for fleecing passengers by suddenly hiking air fares.

The petitioners, comprising some local activists and advocates, had sought the court’s intervention to restrain the private airlines from indiscriminately raising their fares whenever they chose to. They cited the recent case of the steep increase in air fares to Chandigarh just before the World Cup semi-final in Mohali. ‘Fares were raised even up to 800 percent, which was a blatant move to fleece passengers,’ advocate Ashok Pande said.

Taking serious note of the petition, Chief Justice F.I. Rebello issued notice not only to each of the concerned airlines but also to DGCA.