The Delhi high court on Monday sought from Air India the exact reasons behind the recent nationwide strike by its pilots. It also wanted details of the revenue loss caused on account of the agitation.
A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna asked Lalit Bhasin, the lawyer appearing for Air India, to file a detailed affidavit in this regard by August 10.
The court had, on May 9, decided to look into the problems faced by Air India, leading to the strike by its pilots saying, “It is a matter of public interest… which the nation wants to know.”
A petition filed by the pilots’ union of the national carrier had been converted into a public interest litigation (PIL) by the court. “The nation wants to know what factors are afflicting the national carrier Air India. In order to set those controversies at rest, we are prime facie of the opinion that all the circumstances leading up to the strike should be considered and decided by treating the case as a PIL,” the bench said.
Appearing before the bench, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association sought withdrawal of its appeal against the April 27 order to call off the strike, stating that the pilots have rejoined duty.
However, the court was inclined to take a closer look at the issue so that such strikes did not recur.
The court said that the issue has been pending for last several years and relates to public interest, which needed the court’s consideration.