The Air India (AI) management was at the receiving end on Monday in the Delhi high court which asked it not to sit over the conciliation process for reinstatement of 101 sacked pilots and desist adopting a “vengeful attitude”.
“It looks like the management wants to have its cake and eat it too. How it can be allowed?” Justice Reva Khetrapal said while directing the airlines to complete the conciliation process within a month.
“The management should be magnanimous in its approach. It should not have a vengeful attitude,” the judge said.
During the hour-long arguments, the court expressed its displeasure, saying the management was “sitting over” the conciliation process after the pilots, affiliated to Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), decided to call off their 58-day-old strike.
“I am upset and I am also getting anguished... You assured the court. Now you want to sit over it. It should be done in a time-bound manner,” the judge said.
The pilots’ plea that the management was not fulfilling its assurance to consider their reinstatement sympathetically in a time-bound manner led Justice Khetrapal to ask Lalit Bhasin, counsel for the national carrier, to conclude the process within four weeks.
“I stand by my assurance but there should not be a time frame. They disobeyed the court order for two months and now seeking relief... I am entitled to withdraw the (contempt) suit,” Bhasin replied.