Coming to the aid of all Air India pilots, permanent as well as on contract, whose services were terminated last year, the Delhi high court on Tuesday quashed the national carrier's decision and directed their reinstatement.
The direction was issued by Justice Jyoti Singh who also ordered that back wages would have to be paid to the reinstated pilots.
The court said that the back wages, including allowances, have to be paid at par with what in-service pilots were receiving and in accordance with the government rules.
The court also said that extension for the contractual pilots would be at the discretion of Air India in view of their satisfactory performance.
The court said the detailed judgement would be available only on Wednesday.
The order was passed in over 40 petitions by pilots whose services were terminated by Air India on August 13 last year.
The terminated pilots, a large chunk of whom were represented by advocates Ravi Raghunath and Nilansh Gaur, had initially moved the court in July last year seeking directions to Air India to accept the withdrawal of the resignations tendered by them.
However, on August 13, 2020, Air India issued termination letters to several pilots including those who had wanted to withdraw their resignations.
Subsequently, the pilots moved the high court against the August 13, 2020, decision of Air India.
Some of pilots had initially tendered their resignations over delay by Air India in disbursing pay and allowances.
They had also contended that neither were their notice periods reduced nor any no-objection certificate issued to them after receipt of resignation.
They had further contended that the resignations were subsequently withdrawn, but the withdrawal was not accepted by Air India.
Photograph: PTI Photo