New Delhi: A bill that would enhance compensation for air travellers in case of death, injury, lost baggage or even inordinate delay in flights was passed by the Rajya Sabha today.
The ‘Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, was passed by the Upper House with changes. It was cleared by the Lok Sabha in December last year.
Since Rajya Sabha has made changes, the revised bill would again go to the Lower House.
Once the legislation is implemented, Indian airlines would be required to pay compensation amount that is equivalent to the rates paid by their global counterparts.
Piloting the bill in the Rajya Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said it would bring legislative character to international character with respect to compensation for air passengers.
The legislation would allow the government to revise the liability limits of airlines in line with the Montreal Convention, which was acceded to by India in May 2009.
Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought Deputy Chairman P J Kurien’s permission to move the Bill.
Kurien said it was decided that the bill will be passed without discussion.
Jairam Ramesh (Cong) demanded that there should be a discussion. CPI (M) members Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan too said there should be discussion on certain clauses.
Then the government agreed to the demand.
During the discussion, Yechury said the bill should be brought back in amended form so that there is no need to come back to amend it after five years, when the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are revised again.
He also said there is a need to further discuss the definition and intensity of bodily injury and the compensation before inking the convention.
E M Sudarsana Natchiappan (Cong) said bills where the powers of the legislature are transfered to the executive should be first brought to the notice of the House.