Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Judge takes chartered flight to work

Kochi: Justice delayed is justice denied and with nationwide suspension of passenger air travel due to the lockdown, Justice PR Ramachandra Menon, chief justice of Chhattisgarh high court, appeared to have no option but take a chartered flight from Kochi to Bilaspur to get back to work. Justice Menon flew 2,000km to Bilaspur on Saturday morning in an eight-seater Learjet 35 aircraft operated by New Delhi-based VSR Ventures Pvt Ltd (VSR Aviation).
On Friday, Justice Dipankar Datta, a judge at the Calcutta HC, moved by road to Mumbai, where he was appointed as the new chief justice of Bombay HC. Also, Allahabad HC judge Justice Biswanath Somadder, who was elevated as the chief justice of Meghalaya HC, travelled to Shillong via Kolkata by road to assume charge.

The aircraft for Justice Menon reached Cochin Airport on Saturday morning from Delhi and departed with the justice at 11am. Menon was the only the passenger in the aircraft which had one cabin crew in addition to the pilot and co-pilot. Sources said the Chhattisgarh government chartered the flight and the aviation company charged around Rs.2.5 lakh per hour for the flight. The aircraft flew down from Delhi to Kochi and flew back to Chhattisgarh with a total flight time of nearly 6.5 to 7 hours. The cost incurred must have been around Rs13-15 lakh (excluding the ground handling charges at airport).
28/04/20 Anantha Narayanan K/Times of India
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