Notice issued to centre, Air India on pilots’ plea

June 25th, 2012 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to the central government and the Air India on a plea of the Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) challenging its earlier order that restrained pilots of the national carrier from going on a strike.

Air India pilots owing allegiance to the IPG moved the court seeking setting aside of the order passed by it May 9. The order restrained the pilots from continuing the strike, and said that irreparable injury would be caused to the Air India if such strike was allowed to be continued.

Justice Pratibha Rani, hearing the IPG plea questioning the court’s authority to entertain the plea against their strike, sought reply from the government and Air India management by July 13, the next date of hearing.

The IPG petition said: “This court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this suit also in view that the dispute involved is squarely within the definition of industrial dispute under the provision of the Industrial Disputes Act.”

About 440 pilots struck work May 8 against the Air India management’s move to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines in the merged entity on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing-787 Dreamliner.

Justice Reva Khetrapal, while staying the strike of pilots in May 9 order, had said that the guild, “its members, agents, office bearer are restrained from illegal strike. The pilots are also restrained from reporting sick, staging demonstrating, holding dharnas, or resorting to any other modes of strike in and outside the petitioner company, including its offices in Delhi and outside, and also around airport”.

The division bench of the court May 17 also refused to entertain a plea of striking Air India pilots who wanted to continue their protest over their career progression plan. It said contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against them if they “willingly and flagrantly” disobey its orders.

The strike Monday entered its 48th day. It has reportedly caused a revenue loss of Rs.530 crore.

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