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SC quashes levying of Airport Development Fee on passengers

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today quashed levying of Airport Development Fee (ADF) by private airport developers in Delhi and Mumbai on international and domestic passengers.

A bench of justices Cyriac Joseph and A K Patnaik set aside the policy of airport developers by which passengers departing from Delhi airport had to pay a fee of Rs 200 for domestic flights and Rs 1,300 for international flights while fliers departing from Mumbai were charged Rs 100 for domestic and Rs 600 for international flights.

The bench set aside the Delhi High Court’s order which had upheld levying of ADF.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the NGO, Consumer Online Foundation, contending that the fee was illegal, as it was not approved by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

The NGO had pleaded that such levy can only be charged by a government body like Airport Authority of India and not private bodies such as Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) that are just managing the Airport.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had in August 2009 rejected the petition of the NGO, ruling that private airport developers were free to charge ADF from passengers and that barring it would have damaging consequences for the Public Private Partnership Model.

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