It upheld a Single Bench order deeming the Indian Pilots' Guild members' strike illegal
Upholding a Single Bench order allowing a plea by the Air India management that the strike by the pilots belonging to the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) was illegal, the Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the IPG against the order.
The Court had allowed AI's plea in respect to its argument that the pilots had gone on strike without serving a prior notice to the management as per the Industrial Disputes Act.
Dismissing the appeal, the Division Bench said: “In this case, we have no doubt that the members of the appellant are and continue to be in violation of the order of the learned Single Judge.
“Since we are not entertaining the appeal and the order of the learned Single Judge stands, the members of the appellant would be well advised to comply with the orders… failing which it would be open to the Judge pending decision on the interlocutory application to proceed under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, the provisions of Order 39 rule 2A of the Code and the attendant powers which the court has under the Constitution of India, as a court of record, against the members of the appellant.
“The appellant, however, is at liberty to approach the learned Single Judge to vacate, modify or vary the impugned order,” the Bench said.
A labour dispute: pilots
The IPG had challenged the Single Bench order, arguing that the disputes between the management and the pilots were a labour dispute and that therefore, only a labour court could hear it.
The guild had also challenged the territorial jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court, submitting that the guild's address given in AI's suit was of Mumbai.
But the Bench dismissed both arguments.
The Single Bench had restrained the pilots from continuing with the “illegal strike and/or reporting sick and/or staging demonstrations, dharnas, gheraos etc. inside and outside the premises of the plaintiff-company located at the airports, terminals, head offices and all other offices of the plaintiff-company, including the residence of the officers of the plaintiff-company.”