On Monday, a petition to halt SpiceJet airline operations due to a recent string of technical problems was denied by the Delhi High Court. The airlines are alleged to have violated their professional and safety obligations. A panel led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma made it clear that the court cannot halt an airline’s operations based solely on PIL and press reports.
Attorney Rahul Bhardwaj had brought the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). Justice Subramonium Prasad was also a member of the bench, which declared that the law provided a “robust mechanism” for the aviation industry and noted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCAposition)’s that it had already taken action and issued show cause notices regarding the incidents alleged in the current case.
The petitioner claimed that there have recently been incidents involving SpiceJet aircraft “landing,” its aircraft taking off without passengers’ luggage, and employees not being paid. There have been “regular breaches” in the service, according to the petitioner, and cases have even been filed against the SpiceJet promoter.
According to the court, the DGCA “is very much working” and there is no justification for granting the petitioner’s requested relief. According to the ruling, “the court cannot order a specific airline to cease operations in the nation based on allegations in a PIL and press reports.”
The court stated that the DGCA is the appropriate authority to investigate the incidents claimed by the petitioner and that the Aircraft Act establishes general flying and safety conditions as well as an aircraft’s airworthiness. The court remarked, “So we start running the airline also?,” as the petitioner’s attorney pleaded with the court to grant the ad-interim relief of stopping SpiceJet’s operations.
“Not in our purview, that. There is a DGCA expert body, and only within the bounds of the law may one seek relief “The judge stated. The court also took note of the DGCA’s position that whenever an incident, like those claimed by the petitioner, is brought to their attention, prompt action is taken. The DGCA will continue in the current situation as well, it added.
The court noted during the hearing that every aircraft is inspected before takeoff, but statistically, the percentage of traffic accidents is higher than in the aviation industry. In the petition, the petitioner asked the authorities for guidance on how to form a special commission with an aviation expert to investigate the issues raised by it and halt SpiceJet’s operations in the interim. According to the petition, flight passengers have a right to a safe environment as part of their basic human rights.