The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday suspended the single-bench decision barring the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from collecting airport entry fee.
A division bench of the LHC Rawalpindi bench headed by Justice Sardar Tariq suspended the order of the single bench till July 17, accepting CAA’s application for further hearing.
Talking to The Express Tribune, CAA’s counsel Ubaidur Rahman Abbassi said that CAA had appealed in an intra-court appeal against the decision. We informed the division bench that we don’t charge fee from the passenger, driver and an attendant, he stated. The fee is charged under PCAA Ordinance 1982, he said, adding that the money generated from the entry fee is spent on security arrangements and purchase of security equipment.
He said CAA also informed the bench that the entry fee was charged at airports in Islamabad and Peshawar as both are congested and vulnerable. “Two attacks have been carried out on the Peshawar airport while an attempt was made on Benazir Bhutto International Airport,” he said.
“The Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court have already decided this case in CAA’s favour.” The entry fee will be discontinued after the construction of the new airport in Islamabad, he added.
Earlier, a single bench of the LHC in Rawalpindi in its detailed judgment declared the Rs20 entry fee at Benazir Bhutto International Airport illegal and asked the CAA to abolish it. The fee was levied on persons accompanying passengers to the airport by the CAA.
Justice Ijaz Ahmad had stated in his judgment that the imposition of entry fee on visitors accompanying air travellers was hazardous to security. The court had directed the CAA to take steps to limit the number of visitors accompanying air travellers into the parking lot and lounge.
The court had observed that the entry fee permitted all kinds of persons to enter the airport and there were no checks to ensure security of passengers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2013.
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