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Court relief for pilots, no to contempt plea

The Supreme Court and the Delhi high court on Friday spelt relief to the agitating Indian Pilots Guild, an association of Air India pilots.

delhi Updated: May 12, 2012 00:23 IST
HT correspondent
Stranded-passengers-at-the-Mumbai-International-Airport-in-Mumbai-following-cancellation-of-several-Air-India-flights-on-the-second-day-of-the-strike-by-its-pilots-PTI
Stranded-passengers-at-the-Mumbai-International-Airport-in-Mumbai-following-cancellation-of-several-Air-India-flights-on-the-second-day-of-the-strike-by-its-pilots-PTI

The Supreme Court and the Delhi high court on Friday spelt relief to the agitating Indian Pilots Guild, an association of Air India pilots.

While the apex court refused to initiate Air India management's plea to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the striking pilots, the high court stayed imparting of fresh training in advanced aircrafts like Boeing 787 and 777 to all pilots till the report submitted by justice Dharmadhikari committee was implemented.

The high court, however, made it clear that those pilots of Air India who are already on training on advanced aircrafts shall not be disturbed and those who already taken the training on advance aircraft shall be subject to the outcome of the pending petition.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a pilots' body of erstwhile domestic carrier Indian Airlines — Indian Commercial Pilots Association — seeking parity with their counterparts in Air India.

IPG is protesting against the management's decision to send pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines to train on the Boeing 787 dreamliner.

In the Supreme Court, a bench headed by justice TS Thakur said the pilots have done nothing which amounts to contempt of court and
suggested that airline management should speak with the agitating pilots to sort out differences.

"They have done nothing for obstruction of justice or to bring disrepute to the court. Your problem is with them. You sit with them and sort out the differences. Don't resort to contempt proceedings," the bench said.

It further said if the strike is illegal, then the airlines can take action against them.

"Rest assured that if there is slightest contempt of court, then we would ourselves initiate proceedings against them," the bench further said.

AI had said the action of the IPG was in violation of the April 23 and May 2 orders of the SC.