AI pulled up for ‘eye wash’ on conciliation

* Delhi High Court upset over airline management’s lack of seriousness in reinstating sacked pilots

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2012 2:33 am

The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed its “anguish” at the Air India management’s attitude towards re-instating the sacked pilots and asked the airline to fix a deadline for deciding the plea of the 101 pilots against their termination.

“You had assured to us a sympathetic treatment to the sacked pilots but it appears to be only an eye-wash. Don’t get hyper-technical with your arguments against them. I am upset by the management’s approach and anguished too. We treated the matter like a public interest litigation since it involved public inconvenience. But it seems now that the management wants to have its cake and eat it too,” remarked Justice Reva Khetrapal.

The court also expressed its displeasure over the management’s insistence on not having a retired judge as a mediator to the talks between them and the pilots and lamented that they were not conceding to have an independent committee.

“The management should be magnanimous in its approach. It should not have a vengeful attitude and make examples of the leaders of the striking pilots’ union. Let us put an end to their agony. The management must adopt a parental attitude,” said the judge.

Disagreeing that it would take at least three months for the management-appointed high-power committee to decide all the cases,the court asked the management’s counsel senior advocate Lalit Bhasin to obtain instructions whether they could pass orders with respect to all 101 pilots in four weeks’ time or not.

“We will pass orders on the next date after going through your submissions,” said the judge,fixing the matter for Wednesday.

The court’s remarks came after senior advocates C A Sundaram and Geeta Luthra informed it that conciliation process is going on but management is doing nothing about the reinstatement of terminated pilots and is not serious on the issue.

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