Forex Cards of Jet Staffers Frozen, Court Sends Notice on Refund
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.(Photo: Reuters)

Forex Cards of Jet Staffers Frozen, Court Sends Notice on Refund

Prepaid forex cards held by staff members of the grounded Jet Airways were "frozen" on Wednesday, 1 May. The cards were given to the Jet staff operating international flights for taking care of the expenses incurred overseas.

Speaking to news agency PTI, an anonymous officer said, "Over 1,300 staffers, including 1,000 cabin crew and 300 pilots, have been affected.”

The officer also added the money in the cards was saved over multiple trips and they have lost money in this difficult situation. Some of the employees had savings of up to USD 2,000 in the forex cards, the staffer claimed to illustrate the extent of the problem at hand.

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Axis Claims No Role in Freezing Cards

Moreover, Axis Bank, whose cards were used by the staff, said they have "no role to play" in the happenings.

A senior official at Weizmann Forex, which is a card distributor for Axis Bank and counts on Jet Airways as a client, confirmed to PTI that some cards have indeed been "frozen".

“Jet owes us Rs 1.62 crore and has not paid us for one month. In the absence of the payment, we had to securitise against our receivables,” the official said.

"These transactions on the forex cards are carried out by Jet Airways' forex provider as per the arrangement between the two entities. The bank has no role to play in these transactions," an Axis Bank spokesperson said.

Also Read : Jet Airways Employee, Suffering from Cancer, Kills Himself

Court Issues Notice to Jet Airways

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on the same day issued notice to Jet Airways on a plea seeking direction to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA to ensure refunds or provide alternative travel mode for passengers who have booked tickets with the airlines which has temporarily suspended all its flights.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani sought response from Jet Airways and also asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to file an affidavit on the issue.

The high court said it will hear the matter after summer vacation and posted the matter for 16 July.

The court's directions came on a plea, filed by activist Bejon Kumar Misra, which had said that the sudden suspension of air services of Jet Airways has resulted in a major crisis for passengers who were not informed about it earlier.

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The application had sought direction to the ministry and DGCA to adopt prompt redressal mechanism for all affected passengers to access full refund of air tickets with reasonable compensation or arrange alternative mode of travel for them to reach their destination as an emergency exercise.

The plea, filed through advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi and Shashi Bhushan, had said: "It is common knowledge that all competitor airlines have exorbitantly increased airfares and the toothless and vulnerable consumers are constrained to suffer not only in terms of money, but also in terms of mental harassment of unprecedented scale."

Citing media report, it had said more than Rs 360 crore of passengers/consumers’ hard earned money is under threat due to non-refund of ticket value.

"The passengers have to not only purchase alternative tickets at highly exorbitant cost, but also go through lots of anxieties and mental agony. This has resulted in profiteering by other airlines at the cost of the passengers and till date no relief has been announced by the respondents (Ministry and DGCA).

"It is on record that such a situation was existing for more than two years, but was intentionally allowed by the authorities without any concern for passengers and other affected parties," the plea had claimed.

Jet Airways ceased operations on 17 April after months of financial difficulties and multiple attempts at saving the oldest private sector airliner failed.

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(This piece has inputs from two PTI copies.)

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