Indian asked to explain why ‘overweight’ air hostesses groundedSeptember 19th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to domestic carrier Indian, formerly Indian Airlines, on a plea by five of its air hostesses who have challenged their removal from flight duty because they were allegedly overweight.While issuing notice to the airline, a bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Aftab Alam sought the carrier’s reply within four weeks.
The bench issued notice on a petition by airhostess Sheela Joshi and four others, challenging the Delhi High Court’s June 4 verdict, upholding Indian Airlines’ policy of grounding overweight air hostesses and putting them on non-flight duty.
The five air hostesses had been relieved of flight duty by Indian Airlines along with 11 others. The other 11 were, however, given back their flight duty after they corrected their weight.
A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, while dismissing the petition by five overweight air hostesses, had ruled that “there is no unreasonableness or arbitrariness” in the airlines’ decision.
The rules prescribe different weight limits according to height and age of airhostesses. For an 18-year-old air hostess with a height of 152 cm, the maximum weight permissible is 50 kg while air hostesses in the age group of 26 to 30 and a height of 152 cm, the weight limit is 56 kg.
“Grace and concessions are not matters of legal right. They are matter of policy and we do not find any illegality” in the decision, the court said.