Flying Club Must Leave Safdarjung Airport: HC

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New Delhi: The high court has dismissed a plea of the Delhi Flying Club challenging its eviction from Safdarjung airport, saying that in any case, the place is known more as a wedding venue than for aeronautical activities.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw’s decision came on the pleas of Aero Club of India Pvt Ltd (ACIPL) and Delhi Flying Club (DFC) challenging the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) eviction order, directives regarding licence fee and show-cause notices issued to the club for non-payment of licence fee dues of over Rs 8.3 crore.

During the hearing, the court came to know that only simulation training was being imparted at DFC and observed that “said training certainly does not need such kind of valuable land and property in its occupation and qua which I as a resident of the city can say is known more now for the last at least ten years as a wedding and party venue than for its aeronautical activities.”

The court said DFC has not been meted out any injustice also taking note of the fact that the club has no share capital, which meant AAI would have no means to recover the amount if it was later held that the licence fee was recoverable.

DFC and ACIPL had also challenged the increase in licence fee proposed back in 2007 and said the Centre had forwarded their representation against the hike to AAI which was not entitled to enforce the increase.

“The Government of India is often approached by various persons/entities for redressal of their grievances against bodies/authorities perceived as under the Government of India and over which it exercises control. The Government of India also upon being so approached, often forwards such representations to the bodies/authorities concerned and while doing so may express its views. However, merely because it does so, would not entitle the person/entity aggrieved to claim the body/authority complained against is not entitled to enforce the impugned action,” the court said, rejecting the club’s petition.

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