New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up Air India for "sitting over" the conciliation process for reinstatement of its 101 pilots whose services were terminated for going on strike. The court also asked the AI management to inform it by Wednesday if the high-power committee, set up by it, would decide the issue within four weeks.

Expressing displeasure with the AI management for not fulfilling its assurance to consider the issue of reinstatement sympathetically in a time bound manner, Justice Reva Khetrapal said, "I am upset and I am also getting anguished... You assured the court. Now you want to sit over it. It should be in a time-bound manner."

"It looks now like the management wants to have its cake and eat it too, how it can be allowed?" Justice Khetrapal said while expressing her displeasure with the delay in the process of reinstatement of pilots.

The court passed the order after counsel Lalit Bhasin, appearing for AI management, said that he is sticking to the stand taken by the management to consider the reinstatement  issue sympathetically but the statement was not appreciated in the proper spirit.

He also said the management has setup a high-power committee which will examine the issue on case by case basis and it will take at least three months' time.

To his submission, the court asked the counsel to seek instructions from the management whether its committee constituted for the reinstatement of pilots will submit the report within four weeks.

"You will seek instruction whether you will consider the matter of reinstatement of pilots within four weeks," Justice Khetrapal said.


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