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Contempt Proceeding Against AI pilots

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The Delhi High Court on 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.

AI Estimates Total Loss Of Rs 26.5 Cr
Air India has incurred an approximate loss of Rs 26.5 crore in the past three days due to the pilots' strike which forced it to cancel at least 280 flights.

The airline, which normally operates 320 flights on a daily basis, cancelled 57 flights on April 27, 96 yesterday and at least 126 today, an official said here.

The number of cancellations were more today because of the management's decision to refuse fresh bookings for the next five days, he said.

The estimated losses on these three days were Rs 4.5 crore, Rs ten crore and Rs 12 crore respectively, he added.