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Delhi High Court stays Centre's decision to reject security clearance to air charter

"Is demonetisation affecting all the government policies? Where does it give you the power to cancel the licence? The money did not belong to them," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

PTI|
Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 04.46 PM IST
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It said the government was not able to show any rule or regulation which made it mandatory for the petitioner airline to point out to the authorities that any cash was being carried.
It said the government was not able to show any rule or regulation which made it mandatory for the petitioner airline to point out to the authorities that any cash was being carried.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today stayed till February 6 the decision of the Centre to reject the security clearance of an air charter service for transporting Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised notes in passenger baggage.

"Is demonetisation affecting all the government policies? Where does it give you the power to cancel the licence? The money did not belong to them," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said after counsel for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) submitted that the action against the charter airline was taken for carrying demonetised notes in such a "huge volume".

The court put on hold the government's December 8, 2016 decision to reject the security clearance of Air Car Airlines Pvt Ltd, the petitioner, as well as any consequential action under a show cause notice of December 13 till the next date of hearing, saying the cash was released and no action was taken against the passenger in whose luggage the money was found.

"They were not carrying arms. They were only carrying cash. Cash does not become a bomb," the court said and issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and DGCA and sought their reply before February 6 next year, which is the next date of hearing.

It said the government was not able to show any rule or regulation which made it mandatory for the petitioner airline to point out to the authorities that any cash was being carried.

The court further said that the circulars of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on which the government has relied to support its decision only deal with safety and security of the passengers and aircraft and do not oblige airlines to inform the authorities that cash was being carried onboard.

Air Car Airlines Pvt Ltd, which provides air charter services, has said in its plea that its aircraft was booked for a Delhi-Hissar-Dimapur-Delhi flight and the passengers travelling from Hissar to Dimapur were carrying Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised currency.

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