00:35 GMT12 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik) On Monday, India restarted domestic airl travel on a limited scale. The services had been suspended since 25 March when the country went into a national lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. The current lockdown is scheduled to least until 31 May. 

    The Supreme Court of India has reprimanded the federal government for allowing the middle seats on aircraft to be booked as limited aviation services resumed on Monday.

    The court maintained that the government should be more concerned about citizens’ health rather than the health of airlines. The case came before the Supreme Court after a pilot made a plea against the booking of middle seats.

    The apex court observed that "sitting shoulder to shoulder is dangerous".

    "It's common sense that maintaining social distancing is important", it added while ruling that national carrier Air India which is operating special commercial flights to repatriate Indians stuck abroad due to the corona pandemic can book a middle seat only for the next ten days after which it will have to be kept vacant.

    Concerning domestic flights for travel until 16 June, the court ruled that airlines must keep middle seats vacant after that. 

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    Tags:
    Supreme Court, lockdown, COVID-19, civil aviation, India
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