Last Updated: July 10 2021 

The Bombay high court on Friday said that the civil aviation ministry must formulate new laws for naming and renaming of airports across the country.

“If there is a new policy still in the draft stage, get it done now. You have a new set of ministers now. Let this be the work of the new aviation ministry. It should be the first task of the new aviation minister,”.  

The comments from a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, which was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Filji Frederick seeking such directions.

“We would like to know the present position of draft policy…we took the state government to task last month as there was a gathering violating COVID-19 protocols with nearly 25,000 people. Why should we allow this?” the HC said.

The court was referring to a June 24 gathering, demanding that the upcoming airport in Navi Mumbai be named after the late parliamentarian DB Patil who fought for the rights of the project-affected people. It involved people from the local agricultural and fishing communities, along with some politicians.

Last month, the Maharashtra government and state-run town planning agency City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) had said that the airport will be named after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

The High Court on Friday said that a draft policy had been formulated in 2016 to name airports after cities and not individuals. However, the current status of such policy was not known.

The court posted Mr Frederick’s PIL for further hearing on July 16.

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