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Appoint selected candidates: HC to AAI

Delhi High Court has directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to issue letter of appointment to candidates selected for the posts of Manager (ATC) Manager (Electronics) in December 2009, but were later rejected for "no valid reasons".

delhi Updated: Sep 23, 2010 01:19 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Delhi High Court has directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to issue letter of appointment to candidates selected for the posts of Manager (ATC) Manager (Electronics) in December 2009, but were later rejected for "no valid reasons".

From the December 2009 lot, the AAI had earlier this year issued appointment letters to only 35 candidates (out of 68 posts advertised) under Air Traffic Manager (Air Traffic Controller - ATC) discipline and 87 candidates (out of 171 posts advertised) under the Manager-Electronics (Communications & Navigation Services - CNS) discipline respectively.

Hindustan Times had first reported in April that how despite a huge shortage in trained ATCs and CNSs, the AAI had reduced the intake of officers to the extent of 50 per cent. Later, even after the Ministry of Civil Aviation in a meeting had asked the AAI to issue letters to these candidates, the Authority did not comply.

Meanwhile, few of the aggrieved candidates approached the High Court, which took on record not just what AAI had to say but also what the Ministry of Civil Aviation had to say.

The AAI lawyer tried to convince the court that the AAI is not bound by the ministry directives. But the court took it on record that as per section 40 of the Airport Authority of India Act 1994, power is vested with the Central government, which is Ministry of Civil Aviation to issue directions to the AAI.

The court also took cognisance of a noting dated June 14, whereas Ministry's Director Alok Shekhar had agreed that "the appointments were held back for no valid reasons", a decision further echoed by the Ministry's Secretary in his notings, "I totally agree. After completing the selection process there is no valid justification for withholding the result."