The All India Cabin Crew Association, the Air India employees’ union headed by the Shiv Sena, will get a new president by March.
Partymen-turned-rivals, Sena MP Bharat Kumar Raut and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Kiran Pawaskar, were restrained by the Bombay high court on Thursday from acting as president of the union following a rift between the members.
Pawaskar, former Sena MLC, had deflected to NCP on January 6.
Justice SJ Kathawala also directed the managing committee of the union to conduct fresh elections for appointing the president. The elections would be held between February 15 and 28 with senior advocate Vijay Vaidya acting as the election commissioner.
Notice for the election has to be issued to all employees by January 29 because they will be held across the country.
The results have to be declared by March 15.
The association had filed suit in the high court seeking that Raut be restrained from acting as the president because the members had unanimously resolved to appoint Pawaskar as president in their managing committee meeting on January 5.
The committee also resolved to de-affiliate from the Shiv Sena and Bhartiya Kamgar Sena Mahasangh, the head body of all the employees’ unions.
Till date, elections were held only for appointment of the managing committee. The Sena would decide who would be president, and the committee would ratify the name.
Pawaskar was appointed as president in June 2007.
In December 2008, the Sena had appointed Raut as president, but there was no ratification to that effect by the managing committee, argued JP Cama, counsel for the association.
Cama argued that the day Pawaskar was appointed as president, a few Sainiks had ransacked their office in the Air India office in Andheri.
But MD Nagle, counsel for the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena Mahasangh, argued: “Raut has been acting as the president since 2008. Why are they challenging the fact now?” asked Nagle.