Court seeks to know causes of Air India strikeMay 16th, 2011 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday sought an explanation from the government over the causes of a 10-day strike which crippled the domestic operations of national carrier Air India, forcing it to suffer accumulated losses of Rs.150 crore.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the government, also asking it to state how much money has been lost in strikes in the flag carrier since 1990s.
“The nation wants to know what factors are afflicting the national carrier Air India. In order to set those controversies at rest, we are prime facie of the opinion that all the circumstances leading up to the strike should be considered and decided by treating the case as a PIL (public interest litigation),” the bench said, hearing a case referred by another bench, which termed it a matter of public interest.
“Disputes between the parties have fostering before the National Industrial Tribunal since 1990. So its high time now when the nation should know why the dispute is not coming to end,” the bench observed.
The court was hearing the petition filed by the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA), the union of over 800 pilots which went on strike on April 26, seeking withdrawal of its appeal against the single judge’s April 27 order to call off the strike as the pilots have joined their duties.
The union consists of pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines who were co-opted into Air India when the two entities were merged in 2007.
Allowing the pilots’ plea to withdraw the stay order on strike, as the pilots had called off the agitation May 6, the bench said the issue has been pending for several years and need the court’s consideration as it relates to public interest.
The airline in the 10-day long strike suffered nearly around Rs.150 crore in revenue loss while 1,600 flights were cancelled.
Currently Air India has managed to pull back all of its domestic operations, while grave concerns over its Rs.40,000 crore debt and losses of around Rs.13,000 crore still remain.
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Tags: agitation, air india, carrier air, chief justice, commercial pilots, controversies, delhi high court, dipak, division bench, domestic operations, flag carrier, high time, india strike, indian airlines, industrial tribunal, misra, national carrier, pilots association, public interest litigation, sanjiv