The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed levying of development fees on departing domestic and international passengers by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) under the outdated Airports Authority of India Act of 1994.
A bench of justice RV Raveendran and justice AK Patnaik, however, said DIAL could continue charging Rs 200 from domestic passengers and Rs 1,300 from international ones under the April 2008 public notice issued by the Regulatory Authority under the amended Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.
The court did not examine the validity of this notice, as the same was not under challenge before it.
The bench, however, left it open for an aggrieved person to challenge the 2010 notice allowing DIAL to charge the development fees.
It further directed that DIAL would credit the development fees to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and only the authority could utilise the amount.
Under the 1994 Act, fees was collected for development of airports, establishment or development of a new airport in lieu of the existing airport or investment in equity in respect of shares to be subscribed by the airports authority in companies engaged in establishing, owning, developing, operating or maintaining a private airport.
DIAL said in its statement: "Supreme Court has allowed DIAL to continue to charge airport development fees (ADF) as per the approval granted by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority. Supreme Court has also observed that in view of the facts of the case, DIAL shall not be obliged to refund any amounts collected by it prior to the approval granted by AERA. Supreme Court has directed that the utilisation of the ADF recovered by DIAL shall be only for the purposes of development of the Delhi airport."