Kingfisher Airlines staff move HC for salary dues

Kingfisher Airlines staff move HC for salary dues

Claim KFA has not remitted I-T and commercial taxes, too

Kingfisher Airlines staff move HC for salary dues

Kingfisher Airlines Limited (KFA), which was forced to stop operations late in 2012, its employees claim, has not even been depositing the required sum with the Income Tax (I-T) department, and the State Commercial Taxes department.

A senior employee of the airline said that the company, which owes employees their salaries since August last year, has not even been paying I-T deducted from their salaries.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Leelakrishnan, an advocate specialising in labour laws and representing 93 employees of KFA, including pilots, before the Karnataka High Court, said: “KFA’s wage bill per month is Rs 21 crore across the country, which is not being paid since August last. Moreover, we have found out that the airline is not even paying I-T, deducted from employees, or, the professional tax payable to the State Commercial taxes department, which is also deducted from the salaries.”

He said 93 employees from Karnataka have filed an impleading application in the on-going court proceedings in the High Court. The move comes in the backdrop of KFA declaring in February this year that it is not a subsidiary of United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL), which is facing a winding up petition in the High Court.

“UBHL has to deposit Rs 250 crore with the HC to discharge debt of creditors. With the KFA declaring that it is not a subsidiary, 10 creditors of KFA have separately moved the court seeking winding up of the company so as to settle their dues. We have sought to become a party to this case so that we can claim our dues,” Leelakrishnan said.

He, however, stressed on the fact that the employees do not want the company’s closure. “We only want our dues. Otherwise, we are keen that the airline is revived as closure is not in our interest,” Leelakrishnan said.

However, the Director General of Civil Aviation has held that “...there is nothing much in the revival plan apart from funding from the UB Group.”

He said the company has put a lot of pilots’ career in jeopardy as it has discontinued periodic training for the last one year.

“For almost a year, the company has not been providing periodical training for pilots which is essential for them to continue holding their licences,” Leelakrishnan added.