• High Court seeks DIAL, AAI reply on entry fee on commercial vehicles

    Delhi High Court has sought the responses of Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) on a cab firm’s plea against the entry fee of Rs 150 levied upon all commercial vehicles entering the IGI airport to ferry passengers.

    Magic Sewa, an app-based cab company, has also alleged that DIAL and AAI were giving “preferential treatment” to some taxi operators at IGI airport by allowing them to enter and pick-up passengers while denying the same privilege to others.

    A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked AAI and DIAL to file their replies in two weeks to Magic Sewa’s plea before the single judge who is hearing the matter and disposed of its appeal against the single judge’s decision not to grant any interim relief.

    The division bench also advanced the next date of hearing in the matter before the single judge to May 17 from July 22.

    The single judge had on February 24 declined to grant any interim relief to Magic Sewa which had sought stay on the Rs 150 entry fee.

    On the alleged exclusivity being granted to the three other cab companies — Easy, Meru and Mega Taxi — to enter the airport and pick-up passengers while denying this benefit to others, Magic Sewa claimed this privilege was being granted as the three operators had paid huge sums of money for it.

    During the hearing before the division bench, AAI said that tenders were floated for grant of special privilege and the three companies are being charged huge amounts for it.

    Magic Sewa has claimed that grant of such special rights “kills competition” and was “anti-people and consumer”.

    “Apparently, the cost incurred by the said cab companies is passed on to hapless domestic and international passengers in one form or another. Besides, these privileged cab companies also charge from passengers the maximum rate notified by respondent 3 (Delhi government) under the law which at present stands at Rs 23 per km.

    “In today’s market, competition is so high among cab companies that the average cost works out to less than Rs 15 per km. By granting special rights to select companies to the exclusion of other similarly placed companies to park taxis at and pick up passengers from the airport kills competition and is anti-people/consumers,” Magic Sewa has said. 

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