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Supreme Court Backs Air India’s Privatization, Rejects Employees’ Writ Petitions

Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal of Employees’ Writ Petitions Against Air India’s Privatization

Today, May 16, the Supreme Court upheld the Bombay High Court‘s decision that writ petitions filed by employees against Air India Limited (AIL) were no longer valid following AIL’s privatization. The petitions addressed issues of non-promotion and pay stagnation.

The judgment, delivered orally by Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, stated that they saw no reason to differ from the High Court’s ruling regarding the petitions’ maintainability. The appeals were dismissed accordingly.

To recap, the High Court, led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik, determined that while the writ petitions were initially valid, AIL’s privatization rendered them invalid for the court’s jurisdiction.

The employees, dissatisfied with this decision, filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court challenging the ruling. Last year, the Supreme Court issued a notice regarding the petition.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Singhvi, representing the employees, argued that the petitions were valid when filed and urged the court to consider the facts as they existed at that time.

Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Air India Limited, cited rulings from various High Courts across India where similar petitions against AIL were dismissed due to its privatization.

Case Title: R.S. Madireddy & Ors vs. Union of India & Ors. SLP (C) No(s). 23441-23444/2022

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