Friday, July 01, 2022

Bombay HC asks Air India to reply to plea by employees’ unions challenging eviction notice

The Bombay High Court on Friday asked Air India (AI) to file its replies to three different petitions challenging the airline’s eviction notice to its employees residing in the suburban Kalina staff quarters.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik directed Air India to file its reply within one week while hearing three different petitions filed by Aviation Industry Employees Guild (AIEG), Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) and All India Service Engineers Association (AISEA) seeking quashing of the airline’s notice issued in October last year and May this year.

At present, around 1,600 families residing in AI staff quarters at Kalina.

The AI issued a reminder notice to its employees asking them to vacate their quarters by July 26. The notice stated that in case the employees fail to vacate the quarters then the airline would levy a fine of Rs 15 lakh on them in addition to charging rent, payable at double the market price.

The employees challenged this before the HC contending that they were allotted the quarters under a leave and licence agreement which is a part of their service conditions. Hence, the employees cannot be asked to vacate the quarters without first issuing a Notice of Change as prescribed under the provisions of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

Ashok Shetty, advocate for the AIEG, said that one of the conditions for allotting these quarters were that the employees shouldn’t own flats in Mumbai. “These employees have no other place to stay. If they are evicted then they will have no roof,” said Shetty.

01/07/22 Urvi Mahajani/Free Press Journal

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