Ex-AI air hostess wins legal battle, gets back job after 20 years

Ex-AI air hostess wins legal battle, gets back job after 20 years

Justices P B Majmudar and Anoop Mohta on Thursday upheld an earlier High Court judgement which had confirmed the order of an Industrial Tribunal asking the airline in August 2003 to reinstate Shashikar Jatav without back wages.

Directing the government-run carrier to implement the Tribunal's order, the division bench dismissed an appeal filed by the airline.

The Judges noted that if the airline reinstates Jatav, she would not claim any back wages from the date of the order of the Tribunal till she is reinstated in service.

However, if no reinstatement order was passed in two months, then she would be entitled to back wages from the date of the award till her reinstatement with annual interest at 6 per cent.

Jatav joined the airline in 1983 as a trainee air hostess. In 1990, Air India had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Jatav on the ground that she had remained absent after the expiry of her leave granted to her during pregnancy. She delivered a child thereafter.
Jatav applied for maternity leave in 1988 and extended it from time to time till 1990. During this period, she delivered two children, the airline contended.

The air hostess was subjected to a departmental inquiry and dismissed from service in 1990 in keeping with a model standing order. She moved the tribunal against the dismissal.

Counsel for the air hostess argued that although she was entitled to maternity leave up to two pregnancies under the service rules, the action taken against Jatav was harsh.

Moreover, he said, she could not attend the inquiry as she had two kids to look after.

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