The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking to stop the services of SpiceJet in India, in view of recent technical malfunctions in its airplanes, Live Law reported.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that the court cannot stop an airline to operate based on allegations made in a public interest litigation. The petition was moved by advocate Rahul Bhardwaj.
At least nine incidents of technical malfunction have been reported on SpiceJet planes in the last 30 days.
On July 6, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had issued a showcause notice to the airline seeking its explanation for the “degradation of its safety margins”.
In the notice, the civil aviation authority said that since April 1, several SpiceJet aircraft had to return to their originating airport or land at the destination with degraded safety margins.
At Monday’s hearing, Bhardwaj submitted that the lives of passengers were at risk due to the malfunctions in SpiceJet planes. He also alleged that there is no proper management by the airline.
“It is not our domain,” the bench noted, according to Live Law. “This is for expert bodies like the government of India. Prayer can be anything. You can ask for the moon also. But we have to give relief which is within the legal framework.”
It also said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the appropriate body to look into all such incidents.
Malfunctions in SpiceJet planes
On July 12, a Dubai-Madurai SpiceJet flight’s take-off was delayed after the nose wheel of the aircraft malfunctioned.
On July 6, a SpiceJet freighter aircraft bound for Chongqing in China returned to Kolkata after take-off. The pilots noticed that the weather radar of the plane was not working.
On July 5, a Delhi to Dubai SpiceJet flight had to make an emergency landing in Karachi after its fuel indicator malfunctioned. The flight had over 150 passengers on board. No one was injured.
Hours later, another SpiceJet plane flying from Kandla in Gujarat to Mumbai made a priority landing in the Maharashtra capital after the outer pane of the aircraft’s windshield cracked.
On July 2, a Delhi-Jabalpur SpiceJet flight returned to the national capital after crew members saw smoke in the cabin at a height of 5,000 feet. On June 19, an engine on a Patna-Delhi flight caught fire after a bird hit, causing it to return to Patna.
Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate SpiceJet planes while taking off on June 24 and June 25, forcing them to return to their originating airports, PTI reported on Wednesday.