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Reinstate 169 workers with full back wages: Supreme Court tells Jet Airways

Jet Airways, once India's largest private airline, ceased operations in April 2019, unable to meet its financial obligations

Jet Airways

Jet Airways

BS Web Team New Delhi

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In a decision that will have ramifications for the resolution of bankrupt Jet Airways, the Supreme Court (SC) has directed the grounded airline to reinstate its 169 employees with full back wages, reported The Economic Times (ET).

While overturning the orders of the Bombay High Court (HC) and the Central Government Industrial Tribunal, a bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Sanjay Karol stated that the provisions of the Bombay Model Standing Order for workmen could not have been waived by the debt-laden carrier through fixed-term contracts and that the workers were entitled to all benefits.

Also Read: Jalan-Kalrock's plan for Jet Airways unworkable, lenders tell Supreme Court

“A workman who has worked for 240 days in an establishment would be entitled to be made permanent, and no contract/settlement which bridges such a right can be agreed upon, let alone be binding,” the court stated.

The decision followed an appeal by the Bharatiya Kamgar Karmachari Mahasangh, which claimed that the workers, who were temporarily employed on a fixed-term contract, were treated as temporary by the airline despite completing 240 days of uninterrupted service in accordance with the Model Standing Order provided under the Bombay Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, 1959.

Jet Airways argued that the workers were not entitled to permanent jobs as the airline union had signed an agreement in 2002 foregoing the demand for permanent jobs in exchange for other benefits.

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Jet Airways, once India's largest private airline, ceased operations in April 2019, unable to meet its financial obligations. In 2020, the airline's creditors' committee approved a resolution plan submitted by the UK's Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan to revive and operate the airline. The consortium has yet to put the plan into action.

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First Published: Jul 27 2023 | 11:59 AM IST

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