Earlier today passengers cheered hearing that the Supreme Court of India ruled that the charging of Airport Development Fee (ADF) by the private airport operators was incorrect.
The initial cheer of air passengers flying out of Delhi though is short lived. A detailed reading of the record of proceedings of the case (read page 42 onwards) allows the operators of Delhi airport, GMR led Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) to continue charging the ADF of Rs. 200 and Rs. 1,300 on each domestic and international departing passenger respectively since it has received an interim order from the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority to charge such a levy. Unfortunately for the GVK led Mumbai International Airport Ltd., it has received no such permission and therefore will have to stop charging the Rs. 100 and 600 ADF it levies on departing domestic and international passengers.
In lay persons terms, the Supreme Court has said, the levy of the fee was not as per law, but now there is an interim order and so Delhi can continue charging the fee. How about the refund of the fee unlawfully collected? Tough luck. We cannot trace each passenger and refund the fee. Just in case the extremely learned counsels are not aware, each ticket, especially international, contains detailed passenger information, including payment information. Just refund it via the same means the original fee was paid.