Apex court queries Delhi airport development fee


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and concessionaire Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) to tell who was levying and collecting the airport development fee and how was it being spent.

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The court also expressed concern over the non-functioning of the appellate tribunal for Airport Economic Regulatory Authority decisions and other tribunals due to infrastructural problems.

The apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice Madan B. Lokur asked: “Who is collecting the money from the passengers?”

The court order came in the course of the hearing of petitions by NGO Consumer Online Foundation and the Federation of Indian Airlines, challenging the imposition of the fee.

The direction to the AAI and DIAL came after the court got no definite response to its query as to who was levying and collecting the fee and how was it being spent.

While deciding to hear the matter, the court took exception to the manner in which the government was setting up tribunals without providing them with infrastructure and presiding officers.

The court’s observation came after it was told that the appellate tribunal to hear appeals against the decisions of the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority was not functional.

“You take decision (to set up a tribunal but), infrastructure is not available. What is happening? We relegate an authority which has not come into existence,” the court observed.

“We are sorry to say…who is fooling whom. It does not just concern this tribunal, it concerns other tribunals as well. We are (speaking) on a larger issue,” Justice Jain said.