New Delhi: The Airport Development Fees (ADF) collected from passengers was "little unreasonable", the Supreme Court said on Friday, and suggested that VIPs be charged like in abroad for use of special lounges instead of burdening common travelers.
"You are little unreasonable to passengers. In many airports (abroad) such a huge amount of fee is charged for VIP rooms. In London they charge 400 pounds per passenger for a small room in VIP lounge, why can`t you reciprocate here," a bench comprising justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur said.
"Are we so weak. Instead of burdening our passengers, can we also not charge such fees, particularly in the peak seasons in vacations like in June when VIP travellers are visiting from foreign. If we have to pay in pounds in London, why can`t they pay in rupees here. Our airports are excellent compared to many of them," it said.
The bench made the remarks during the hearing of the petition by an NGO, Consumer Online Foundation, challenging the levying of ADF of Rs 200 and Rs 1,300 per embarking domestic and international passengers at the New Delhi`s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport for 18 months from December 1, 2011 to May 2013.
The NGO had come in appeal against the order of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal which had refused its plea against the levy and collection of ADF by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) at the IGI which was fixed by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).
The Bench said there was an "innocuous doubt" that the development fee has been charged for future and perhaps "DIAL has stepped into the shoes of Airport Authority of India (AAI)."