New Delhi: Air India management has been pulled up by the Delhi High Court for being too harsh on the airline's pilots. While hearing a petition on Monday, the High Court asked Air India to seek direction from the Centre and respond on whether the committee set-up to look into the reinstatement of sacked pilots can resolve the issue within four weeks.
The bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal admonished Air India and asked the airline to sort out the issue "in a time-bound manner". The next hearing will take place on Wednesday.
Air India had terminated the services of several pilots during the recent strike. Submitting a report on July 13 before Justice Khetrapal, conciliation officer Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) SK Chand said conciliation proceedings were held between Air India management and its pilots on day-to-day basis following court's July 9 order.
The bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal admonished Air India and asked the airline to sort out the issue.
Expressing displeasure with the AI management for not fulfilling its assurance to consider the issue of reinstatement sympathetically in a time bound manner, Justice Reva Khetrapal said, "I am upset and I am also getting anguished... You assured the court. Now you want to sit over it. It should be in a time-bound manner."
"It looks now like the management wants to have its cake and eat it too, how it can be allowed?" Justice Khetrapal said while expressing her displeasure with the delay in the process of reinstatement of pilots.
The court passed the order after counsel Lalit Bhasin, appearing for AI management, said that he is sticking to the stand taken by the management to consider the reinstatement issue sympathetically but the statement was not appreciated in the proper spirit.
He also said the management has setup a high-power committee which will examine the issue on case by case basis and it will take at least three months' time.
To his submission, the court asked the counsel to seek instructions from the management whether its committee constituted for the reinstatement of pilots will submit the report within four weeks.
"You will seek instruction whether you will consider the matter of reinstatement of pilots within four weeks," Justice Khetrapal said.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)