SC asked debt-laden grounded Jet Airways to reinstate 169 worker

The budget airline, which has shut its operations since April 2019 due to severe cash crunch, is awaiting resolution as approved by the National Company Law Tribunal

Jet Airways

New Delhi: In what could be termed as blow to revival process of the fallen airline, the Supreme Court has on Thursday directed the Jet Airways to reinstate its 169 workers with full back wages.

The budget airline, which has shut its operations since April 2019 due to severe cash crunch, is awaiting resolution as approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and its owner Jalan-Kalrock Consortium (JKC) is striving to infuse additional money to resume flight operations this year.

Also Read: SpiceJet initiates revival process amid turbulence in aviation sector

The bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Sanjay Karol of the apex court said 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 the workers were entitled to all the benefits. The bench also quashed the orders of the Bombay High Court and the Central Government Industrial Tribunal that ruled to the contrary, “A workman who has worked for 240 days in an establishment would be entitled to be made permanent, and no contract/settlement which abridges such a right can be agreed upon, let alone be binding,” the top court ruled.

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

Also Read: Go First plans to resume flight operation, seeks DGCA nod

The airline company had, however, argued that workers were not entitled to permanent jobs as the airline union had in 2002 signed an agreement giving up the demand for permanent jobs for other benefits.

Jet Airways, once India’s biggest private carrier, stopped operations in April 2019, unable to cope with its financial liabilities. In 2020, its committee of creditors approved a resolution plan submitted by UK’s Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan to revive and operate the airline. The consortium has yet to implement the plan.

Also Read: SpiceJet gets out of DGCA’s enhanced surveillance after inspection

The revival of Jet Airways will perhaps take more time than what was expected. JKC, which had taken over the resolution process of the fallen carrier, has informed the NCLT that it needs more time to repay creditors and implement the plan.

After more than 25 years of operations, full-service airline Jet Airways was grounded on April 17, 2019, amid a severe cash crunch. The insolvency process began in June 2019 and the NCLT approved a resolution plan submitted by the JKC on June 22, 2021.

Previous articleCCI approves acquisition of 59.38% shares of Unichem Lab by Ipca
Next articleTraffic blocked on NH-5 at Shimla and Kinnaur due to landslides

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here