The Delhi High Court on Monday failed to break the deadlock over the week-long strike by Air India pilots as the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) refused to pay heed to the suggestion by a Division Bench that it call the strike off so that it could press the AI management to consider their demands.

On an application by AI, Justice Gita Mittal recommended to the Chief Justice the initiation of criminal contempt of court proceedings against the office-bearers of the ICPA.

About 800 pilots, who were earlier with Indian Airlines, have been on strike since April 26 demanding pay parity and better working conditions.

Last week, Justice Mittal had pulled up the AI management for sitting over their demands and asked the striking pilots to withdraw their agitation in the “larger public interest”.

When the pilots continued their agitation, Justice Mittal had passed the order on a petition by AI urging the Court to declare the strike illegal as it was against the commercial interest as well as the larger public interest.

Arguments for and against the initiation of the contempt proceedings are being heard by the Justices B.D. Ahmed and Veena Birbal.

The ICPA submitted before the court that the airline's continuous curtailment of the number of flights was affecting their pay package, which depended on the number of hours they flew daily.

The management had also violated the Memorandum of Settlement that was signed in November 2009 on implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, said counsel for the ICPA.

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