Thursday, August 26, 2021

Resignation ends legal relation with pilots: Air India tells Delhi HC

New Delhi: Air India Thursday told the Delhi High Court that once a pilot tenders resignation, the legal relationship of an employer-employee comes to an end with it and the resignation cannot be withdrawn subsequently.

The submission was made before a bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh which observed that Air India's stand of unilateral resignation was treading a dangerous path.

The bench was hearing Air India's appeal against a single judge order quashing the national carrier's decision to terminate the services of several pilots, both permanent and on contract, and directing their reinstatement.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Air India, said that under the applicable law, there is no need for a formal acceptance of resignation by the national carrier, and that the six-month notice period post-resignation is only to avoid any hardship to the passengers.

The moment you tender resignation, the de jure relationship ends. The jural relationship ends.. Resignation is only given de facto prospective effect (after six months) so that the passengers are not left in a lurch, he said.

"Law requires me to continue de facto (as a matter of fact) as a mandate. But resignation takes effect today," the Solicitor General asserted.

Around 40 pilots had moved the high court after Air India refused to accept the withdrawal of their resignations.

Mehta said his case was that the original petitioners were offered a better job, better prospect with some private airline and the question for determination here was the consequence of change of mind after tendering the resignation.

A resignation is a resignation. There is no potential resignation or conditional resignation in service law, he said.

26/08/21 PTI/Business Standard

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