HC seeks Air India’s reply on pilot’s plea to accept request to withdraw resignation

By: |
July 16, 2020 3:34 PM

Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to Air India and directed it to file its response within 10 days and listed the matter for further hearing on August 4.

Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to Air India and directed it to file its response within 10 days and listed the matter for further hearing on August 4.

The Delhi High Court has sought response of Air India on a plea by one of its pilots, who has flown several evacuation and relief flights to different countries during the COVID19 pandemic, seeking direction to the carrier to accept his request for withdrawing his resignation. The petitioner, who was serving as a Pilot Commander, had tendered his resignation on February 6 this year due to non-payment of certain allowances and arrears and gave a notice period of six months under the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR). However, soon after, he withdrew his resignation on March 19.

He approached the court saying that no decision has been taken by the employer on the application withdrawing the resignation tendered earlier, despite passage of several months. He sought a direction to Air India Ltd to accept the request for withdrawal and permit him to continue beyond August 6.

Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to Air India and directed it to file its response within 10 days and listed the matter for further hearing on August 4. The counsel for the pilot submitted it is settled law that an employee can withdraw the resignation tendered by him before it takes effect.

Under CAR, the mandatory requirement is to give a six months’ notice, if a pilot desires to resign. Petitioner had given six months’ notice, but before the resignation takes effect and the period expires, he has withdrawn the same, the counsel said.

He added that till now the authorities have not taken any steps to find a replacement or substitute pilot to replace the petitioner. In fact, the crew daily roster would show that the petitioner has flown several evacuation and relief flights to different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and as recently as on July 13, he was on duty, the counsel said.
The advocate representing Air India submitted that the petition is premature as so far no decision has been taken on the request of the pilot to withdraw his resignation.

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