Delhi High Court: Air India now not in govt control; no longer amenable to writ jurisdiction

LI Network

Published on: 28 December 2022 at 22:06 IST

Delhi High Court Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh refused to entertain a Plea against Air India by the Indian Airlines Officers Association seeking pay and allowance arrears, saying the airline has ceased to be a government-controlled company and is no longer amenable to its writ jurisdiction.

Delhi High Court observed that the petition was undoubtedly maintainable when it was filed in 2016 on account of Air India then being a public body but with the change of circumstance with respect to its ownership, the court is precluded from granting the relief sought in the present proceedings.

Court in the order said, “It is an admitted position that during the pendency of the present writ petition, on 27.01.2022, 100 per cent shareholding of Air India has been acquired by M/s. Talace Pvt. Ltd. and Air India having ceased to be a Government controlled company, is no longer amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this Court….The writ petition cannot be entertained,”.

Delhi High Court Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh dismissed the petition and said, nonetheless clarified that the petitioner is free to take recourse to remedies available to them in law before an appropriate forum and Air India shall be responsible for clearing the dues if the claim succeeds.

It is reported that the Petioner sought arrears of pay and allowances for the period of January 1, 1997 to July 31, 2006.

Air India Counsel said the airline has been privatised and the entire shareholding of the Government of India has been transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd and, therefore, the petition cannot lie under Article 226 of the Constitution as Air India was no longer a public body.

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