The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar has passed the interim order allowing IRCTC to operate Maharajas’ Express train independently. The apex court issued notice to IRCTC saying that the high court order permitting IRCTC to single-handedly operate Maharajas’ Express train will continue till its next hearing on February 9.
The apex court issued the orders when Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman informed the Supreme Court that IRCTC was the owner of the train and had spent Rs.50 crores on luxury equipment. Nariman further told to the court that Cox and Kings were only interested in making surreptitious profits and starving Royal India Rail Tours, the joint venture of Cox and Kings and IRCTC. The policy of the Cox and Kings was to “take out as much and starve the joint venture company” said Nariman to the court.
However, the court has fixed February 9 as the next date of hearing and is asking IRCTC and Cox and Kings to file their respective replies. The future of one of the most luxurious rail journeys in the world still hangs in balance as to who will be the operator of the service but looking at both sides’ enthusiasm no matter who will operate the train, the journeys of Maharajas Express will continue in the future.