HC orders criminal case against ICPA members

Even as the impasse continued for the seventh day between striking pilots and the Air India management over parity of pay, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered filing of criminal case against three top ICPA office bearers.

Updated: May 03, 2011, 13:31 PM IST

Zeebiz Bureau

New Delhi: Even as the impasse continued for the seventh day between striking pilots and the Air India management over parity of pay, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered filing of criminal case against three top ICPA office bearers, namely AS Bhinder, president of ICPA, Rishabh Kapoor, general secretary, and Amitesh Ahuja, regional secretary.

During a hearing, the Delhi High Court also slammed both the ICPA and the Air India management for not honouring its previous order of returning to work latest by today.

The ICPA is causing a great loss to the nation, said the HC.
The court also criticized the pilots as well as the management for failing to come to a consensus.

Earlier during the day, the management sought support from the public questioning if the strike by the pilots was justified, stating the pilots were highest paid in the country and causing thousands to be stranded everyday due to the strike.

The airline has also decided not to pay the striking pilots during the duration of their stir and withdraw the free passage on the airline`s flights given to them and their families, sources in the carrier said.

As the strike entered the seventh day, Air India was forced to cancel 165 flights in the domestic and regional overseas sectors, even though it said all its 45 long-haul flights to the US, Europe and Japan, among other destinations, were to operate as per schedule.
Air India has some 1,600 pilots on its rolls and operates some 320 flights daily.

The pilots, meanwhile, wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and reiterated their demand for pay parity with former pilots of Indian Airlines, now co-opted into Air India after the merger in 2007 and thorough probe into its financials, alleging mismanagement.

They have already demanded the ouster of chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav. But the government has, thus far, fully backed the Air India management, and refused talks till they call off their stir and report back to their stations.

The Delhi High Court had Monday started hearing criminal contempt proceedings against the office bearers of Indian Commercial Pilots` Association (ICPA), the union that has called the strike, for ignoring a stay order on the agitation.

With IANS inputs