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HC to hear plea in May for refund, alternative flights to grounded Jet Airways passengers

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it will hear next week the plea seeking direction to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA to ensure refunds or provide alternative travel mode for passengers who have booked tickets with Jet Airways, which has temporarily suspended all its domestic and international flights.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani however remarked that "it (plea) is filed only for publicity, come on May 1". The bench observed that the petition was all in the media reports even before coming up for hearing in the court.

The plea, filed by activist Bejon Kumar Misra, said the sudden suspension of air services of Jet Airways has resulted in a major crisis for the passengers who were not informed about it earlier. The application sought direction to the ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to adopt prompt redressal 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 as an emergency exercise.

The plea, filed through advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi and Shashi Bhushan, said: "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."

Citing media report, it said more than Rs 360 crore of the passengers/consumers' hard earned money is under threat due to non-refund of ticket value. The passengers have to not only purchase alternative tickets at highly exorbitant cost, but also go through lots of anxieties and mental agony.

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