HC initiates contempt proceedings against striking AI pilots

HC initiates contempt proceedings against striking AI pilots

New Delhi: The Delhi high court Friday decided to initiate contempt proceedings against striking Air India pilots belonging to Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) for defying its order to resume work, saying “it amounts to disrespect of its orders."

The contempt proceedings were taken up suo motu by Justice Geeta Mittal based on media reports that despite its order the pilots have not called off their strike and passengers are hard pressed.

“It is clearly evident that the conduct of pilots is brazen and wilful and smacks of sheer arrogance," the court said, adding, “There is complete lack of respect for the court orders."

The bench referred the matter to the chief justice of the high court for further action by an appropriate division bench.

While passing the order, the judge said, “This conduct of pilots is covered in the definition of the criminal contempt of court" and “such persons are liable to face appropriate proceedings under the law."

The high court had on Thursday castigated striking Air India pilots for defying its order to immediately call off the agitation and had also issued notices to their union’s office bearers seeking replies as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them.

The court had warned that property of their trade union ICPA will be attached if they did not return to work immediately.

Justice Mittal had issued notices to president A S Bhinder, general secretary Rishabh Kapoor and regional secretary Amitesh Ahuja of ICPA and asked them to be present before her on next date of hearing on Monday to answer the contempt charge.