The Supreme Court today decided to hear the cross-appeals filed by Air India Management and workers union against the order of the Bombay High Court which dealt with various contentious issues arising out of the Justice Dharmadhikari report on the merger of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India.
A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha sought their responses within six weeks and posted the matter for hearing after 10 weeks.
The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman, made it clear that various observations made by the High Cout would be subject to the outcome of the special leave petitions.
The High Court had dealt with the issues of 75 per cent of wages and salary for the workers and had asked the unions to approach the Central Government Industrial Tribunal regarding lowering of salary allowances following the merger.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao and advocate Lalit Bhasin appeared for Air India Management while senior advcoate Harish Salve represented the workers union.
Salve submitted that deduction of 25 per cent salary by Air India management be restored.
The High Court had on January 27 declined to stay the implementation of the Justice Dharmadhikari report on the merger of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India.
Disposing of a bunch of petitions, the high court had asked the unions to approach the Central Government Industrial Tribunal regarding lowering of salary allowances following the merger.
The unions' had contended that the management should have issued notices to them under section 9A of the Industrial Disputes Act before altering service conditions.
The petitions were filed in the High Court by the unions against the national carrier over the "arbitrary" change in service conditions of the pilots, engineers and other employees post merger.
Air India had set up a four-member committee under former Supreme Court judge Justice D M Dharmadhikari on the integration of workforce post merger. The Committee submitted a report to the government in January 2012. The union, however, contested the recommendations.
The HC had earlier, in response to one of the petitions, passed an interim order asking the authorities to keep the service conditions unchanged.
The unions had argued that the airline management could not unilaterally transfer employees to other departments of sister concerns.
In one of the petitions, Indian Commercial Pilots' Association, representing the former Indian Airlines pilots, had