Air India steward loses job for refusing to trim moustache

April 2nd, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 2 (ANI): An Air India steward was relieved from duties because he declined to trim his even after receiving official warnings.

Joyanth Victor De, 55, who worked as an assistant manager at Air India, was dismissed in September 2000 after he refused to trim his handlebar moustache.

De made an unsuccessful appeal to the Kolkata high court, and then took his case to the Supreme Court, but even there he was not successful.

In his plea, he challenged the government-owned airline’s move contending that he had every right to sport a moustache of his choice, and that it was his “family’s custom and spiritual belief”.

However, his plea was not accepted and judges declared that he should keep the family custom “within the family”.

“When you have joined an organisation, you have to follow the rules,” the Daily Express quoted the judges as saying.

As per the Indian aviation rules, cabin crew should be clean-shaven, except for Sikhs, with “neatly trimmed moustache not beyond the upper lip”.

The Supreme Court dismissed his lawyer’s argument that the Aircraft Act 1953 permitted Sikhs to grow beards and moustaches.

“For the Sikhs, sporting a moustache or beard is an indispensable part of their religion. But not for you,” the court said. (ANI)

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