Millennium Post

PIL seeks ban on airlines that reject Rs for onboard duty-free sales

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a response from government on a plea for ban on those air carriers based here which do not accept Indian currency for sale of duty-free products and services on their inbound and outbound flights.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also issued notices to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Finance seeking their responses before May 20.

“We issue notice. You file your counter,” the judge said, adding that also examine the facts on what basis the airlines are not accepting Indian Rupee.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the ministry, however, informed the court that the issue of non-acceptance of Indian rupee by airlines (domestic carriers) for the sale of onboard duty-free product/services is being examined by the ministry.

Referring to the communication received from the Under Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, the ASG said that they need two months time to “comment on the matter”. The court’s direction came on a PIL filed by Manjit Singh seeking a direction to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Finance to impose a rule in India for acceptance of Indian Rupee on all airlines and ships based here, inbound or outbound flights for sale of onboard services or products.

The plea alleged that the national honour of India has been brought into disrepute by the airlines’ refusal to accept Rupee for onboard sale. It said the operation of such airlines and shipping company which refuse to accept the Rupee be banned.

“Direct the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Finance to take steps and completely ban airline or shipping company which refuses Rupee on all outbound and inbound flights operated from Indian territory,” the plea said.

The ASG, however, said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation safety regulator working under the Ministry, is of the view that the issue does not appear to come under the domain of this ministry/DGCA and may pertain to the Ministry of Finance. “However, to be sure, this Ministry is further examining with the other stakeholder. We have already taken up the matter with the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) for offering their comments.”

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