Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Justice a far cry for Air India whistle-blower

Thiruvananthapuram:  Even after a High Court order came in favour of a whistle-blower employee of Air India after a two-year-long battle with the company, L S Sibu, who worked as the officer in the ground handling department, is yet to get justice. Sibu is involved in a sexual harassment case in which the complaint was filed by his colleagues.

Though the probe into the incident, prima facie, proved the allegations against him were false, Air India officers are allegedly not co-operating with the investigation. This ‘non-cooperative’ attitude has delayed the probe and justice for Sibu is getting delayed.
Sibu had earlier alleged he was hoodwinked by the colleagues for being a whistle-blower to the corrective practices in the company. Air India had also constituted a five-member committee earlier to conduct an internal inquiry into the allegations against Sibu. Eventually, the committee had submitted a report stating the allegations were true. Later, the company had allegedly transferred him to Hyderabad as part of disciplinary action.
However, Sibu challenged the decision before the High Court and the court ordered the verdict favouring him on August 17 this year. Sibu had alleged action was taken against him as he petitioned the Centre and CBI against irregularities in the contract with the ground handling agency.  A CBI probe was also learnt to have found irregularities to the tune of `2.6 crore.

He had approached the High Court saying he was being “victimised” and framed after he brought to the notice of the higher ups the transfer of the lucrative ground handling business, carried out by Air India and Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) at the Thiruvananthapuram airport to private joint venture AISATS.

According to Sibu, the Air India has not complied with the court order till date which amounts to contempt of court. He said the investigation is being conducted by the District Crime Branch and the Air India officers are showing reluctance to hand over the documents asked by the investigation officer.
20/12/17 Krishnachand K/New Indian Express