Thursday, Jul 16, 2020 | Last Update : 10:52 PM IST

114th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra27564015261310928 Tamil Nadu1518201023102167 Delhi118645956993487 Karnataka4725318467933 Gujarat44648313462080 Uttar Pradesh41383257431012 Telangana3934225999386 Andhra Pradesh3545118378452 West Bengal34427206801000 Rajasthan2643719502530 Haryana2330617667319 Bihar2017313533157 Assam197551288953 Madhya Pradesh1964313908682 Odisha1489810476101 Jammu and Kashmir116666337206 Kerala9554463436 Punjab87995867221 Jharkhand4562248538 Chhatisgarh4556332420 Uttarakhand3785294850 Goa2951167418 Tripura228116043 Manipur170010800 Puducherry159688921 Himachal Pradesh134196610 Nagaland9023480 Chandigarh61945911 Arunachal Pradesh4911533 Meghalaya337462 Mizoram2381590 Sikkim222870
  India   All India  25 May 2020  SC allows Air India to operate flights with middle seats filled for next ten days

SC allows Air India to operate flights with middle seats filled for next ten days

PTI
Published : May 25, 2020, 1:20 pm IST
Updated : May 25, 2020, 1:20 pm IST

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde conducted an urgent hearing on Eid holiday through video conferencing to hear the appeals

 SC allows Air India to fly for ten days with middle seats filled in scheduled aircraft. (PTI Photo)
  SC allows Air India to fly for ten days with middle seats filled in scheduled aircraft. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Centre and national carrier Air India to keep operating its scheduled flights with the middle seats filled for the next ten days while observing that the government should be more worried about the health of citizens rather than the health of commercial airlines.

The top court asked the Bombay High Court to decide the plea against DGCA circulars expeditiously and said Air India and other airlines will have to follow the order given by the HC with regard to safety measures including maintaining of social distancing inside aircraft by keeping middle seats vacant between two passengers in a row.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde conducted an urgent hearing on Eid holiday through video conferencing to hear the appeals of the Central government and Air India against the Bombay High Court order.

“You should be worried about the health of citizens, not about the health of commercial airlines,” the bench, also comprising AS Bopanna and Hirshikesh Roy, told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the Centre.

The high court had on May 22 sought response from Air India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on a petition of an AI pilot claiming that the airline was not following safety measures for COVID-19 while bringing back Indians stranded abroad.

The High Court had directed Air India and DGCA to file affidavits clarifying their stand and posted the petition for further hearing on June 2.

The pilot, Deven Kanani, in his plea claimed that a circular issued by the Government of India on March 23, 2020 laid some conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while bringing back Indians stranded abroad due to the pandemic.

However, the condition pertaining to keeping the middle seat between two passengers empty was not being followed by the Air India, he said in the plea.

Kanani submitted photographs of an Air India flight operated between San Francisco and Mumbai where all seats were occupied.

Air India, however, opposed the plea of the pilot and told the high court that the circular of March 23 has been now superseded with a new circular issued by the Government of India on May 22, 2020 that permitted domestic flights to operate from May 25.

The new circular does not say that the middle seat needs to be kept empty, Air India told the court.

The High Court had directed Air India and DGCA to file affidavits clarifying their stand and posted the petition for further hearing on June 2. The court had also allowed Kanani to amend his petition to challenge the circular of May 22.

Tags: supreme court, air india, flights, middle seats, commercial airlines, coronavirus guidelines, covid19 outbreak
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi