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Amarnath Yatra: Delhi High Court Seeks Response From Shrine Board On Plea To Curb Black Marketing In Helicopter Bookings

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
23 May 2022 10:34 AM GMT
Amarnath Yatra: Delhi High Court Seeks Response From Shrine Board On Plea To Curb Black Marketing In Helicopter Bookings
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The Delhi High Court has sought a response from Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, on a petition seeking to stop alleged malpractices and black marketing by booking agents in providing Helicopter facility for Amarnath pilgrimage and to make all the tickets accessible online, for direct booking by the public.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta directed that a status report in the matter be filed by the end of this month.

The direction was made in a petition filed by Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice, through Advocate Avadh Bihari Kaushik.

The counsel submitted that on accessing the helicopter booking for Amarnath pilgrimage, the users are redirected to the websites maintained by helicopter companies which have in turn deployed booking agents. These agents, it is alleged, sell those tickets at higher costs to the genuine, needy, helpless, pilgrims at exorbitant rates as part of the packages through hoteliers, causing big monetary loss to them, even, though the tickets are to be sold at concessional rates prescribed by the Board.

It was prayed that the Shrine Board itself create a portal like Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board or the Indian Railways, for direct booking.

"There is and cannot be any reason or justification for not making all the tickets available online to everybody leading to transparency and equally accessible and rather it would be public interest and not doing so is clearly against the public interest," the plea states.

During the course of hearing, the counsel appearing for the Shrine Board on advance notice, informed the Bench that 100% booking for helicopter services for Amarnath pilgrimage will be done through an online process and the same will be put in place very shortly.

Accordingly, the Court directed the Board to file a status report in this regard and posted the matter for hearing on 31 May.

Case Title: Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice v. Union of India & Ors.

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