New Delhi: The impasse over reinstatement of 101 sacked pilots of Air India continued as the airlines on Wednesday withdrew from Delhi High Court its proposal after Indian Pilots Guild sought amendments including induction of a retired judge in a management committee formed to deal with it.

"I am also withdrawing the proposal and let the (civil) suit continue," Lalit Bhasin said responding to the options provided to the national carrier by the court that either "have an independent committee or the suit (of AI) will be kept pending till the termination issue is resolved by its internal committee."

Rejecting the pilots' proposal, which was concurred to by Justice Reva Khetrapal, the lawyer for AI said "we have already constituted a high-powered committee consisting of two Board-level Directors and one Executive Director to look into the cases based on appeals received from the said former pilots. No one from outside would be allowed as it is our internal matter."

Initially, the pilots sought 30 minutes' time to decide as to whether they agree to AI's offer and later, they reverted back to the court and sought two amendments in the proposal that either an independent committee should look into the reinstatement or AI not be allowed to withdraw the case till the time the management committee decides the matter.

"This is a bargain. We have taken disciplinary action against them. Kindly see an order of a division bench in another case relating to the training issue... it has been held that the pilots who have been on an illegal strike cannot get the benefit of training," Bhasin said.

"They (pilots) are not in a position to bargain. You (Bhasin) have a duty towards to your client but you also owe a duty towards the court and the society at large and you have to adopt a fair approach," Justice Khetrapal said.


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