New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the personal appearance of the Civil Aviation Secretary, Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman and CEOs of Indigo and SpiceJet airlines before the Meghalaya High Court in the event of their failure to decide on the date of commencement of flights from Umroi Airport in Shillong to Delhi and other metros.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph stayed the operation of the high court order directing the officials, after senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that a meeting between the representatives of the airlines and Aviation Secretary was to take place at 11 a.m.
Appearing for Indigo, Rohatgi told the court that the airline was operating 421 flights for the Northeast and it does not have a slot for flight to and from Umroi Airport.
Rohatgi told the court that the airport does not have fire safety arrangements for the aircrafts to land and there were altitude issues as well. He said that it was not a taxi service from here to there.
The high court by its December 7 order had said the Aviation Secretary “shall convene a meeting” of all the concerned officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry, AAI and that of the private airlines to take a “final decision as to from which date flights will start operating from Umroi Airport”.
The High Court had said: “The exercise shall be undertaken and completed positively without any fail within a period of seven days from today.” The deadline ends on Friday.
“In case of default in taking such decision, the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Chairman AAI and CEOs/CMDs of the respective airlines shall have to remain personally present before this court and explain why the decision for operating flights for Umroi Airport has not been taken,” the High Court had directed.