The IPG, whose members have been reporting sick, are protesting the national carrier's move to send pilots from both Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines in equal numbers to get trained for flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliners
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain Air India's plea for initiating contempt proceedings against Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) for allegedly obstructing implementation of its order on training of pilots for Dreamliner aircraft, reports PTI.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur said that they (pilots) have done nothing which amounts to contempt of court and suggested the airlines to speak with them to sort out the differences.
"They have done nothing for obstruction of justice or to bring disrepute to the court. Your problem is with them. You sit with them and sort out the differences. Don't resort to contempt proceedings," the bench said.
It further said that if the strike is illegal, then the airlines can take action against them. "Rest assured that if there is slightest contempt of court, then we would ourselves initiate proceedings against them," the bench further said.
Air India on Thursday moved the apex court seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against the office bearers of the Guild by resorting to protest action, which, it said, disrupted international flight operations of the airline and amounted to contempt of the apex court orders.
Air India had said the action of the IPG was in violation of the 23rd April and 2nd May orders of the apex court by which it was made clear that the training programme will be imparted in equal ratio to the pilots of pre-merger Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines.
The IPG, whose members have been reporting sick, are protesting the national carrier's move to send pilots from both Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines in equal numbers to get trained for flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which is likely to be inducted later this month.
The training programme is going on from 8th May in Singapore.
Air India's counsel Lalit Bhasin had said the "armtwisting" act by the IPG was coming in the way of administration of justice.
The matter reached the Supreme Court after Air India had appealed against 13th March order of the Bombay High Court which had restrained the national carrier from sending any pilot from Indian Airlines for training to fly Boeing 787.
Later, on 23rd April, the High Court order was stayed by the apex court which had made it clear "that the training imparted to the members of the IPG shall remain subject to the final outcome of the writ petition and shall not prejudice the rights and contentions of the writ petitioners before the High Court in any manner".
The apex court had asked the High Court to expeditiously deal with the matter and dispose it of within six months. However, IPG had filed an application in the apex court.
During the hearing of the application, Air India had submitted that "an equal number of pilots, as have been deputed from the erstwhile Air India, shall be deputed for training from out of the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots also with effect from 8 May 2012 on a Boeing facility".
The court had noted that "in the light of the statement the apprehension expressed by the petitioner/applicant (IPG) that only Air India pilots are being or may be deputed for such training is misplaced".
The 2nd May order also recorded the statement of IPG's counsel that the statement Air India's lawyer was "indeed sufficient to allay the apprehension expressed in the application".
An application for converting post offices into banks has been made to the and once implemented, coverage of the banking network in the country will increase three-fold in one go
New Delhi: The Department of Post plans to set up 1000 ATMs at post offices and convert them into banks for taking core banking to unbanked population using the vast postal network, reports PTI.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said there are 154,688 post offices in the country, the largest postal network in the world. Of these 25,154 are departmental post offices and the rest Gramin Dak Sewak (GDS) managed post offices which are predominantly in the rural areas. These post offices, he said, can double up as banks once they are computerised.
About 24,969 departmental post offices have been computerised as on 31st March, out of which 19,890 have been provided with network connectivity. The GDS managed post offices will be computerised under a comprehensive IT project for which an outlay of Rs1,877.2 crore has been made, he said.
"Introduction of core banking in networked post offices and setting up of 1,000 ATMs is also part of this project," he said.
An application for converting post offices into banks has been made to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Once implemented, coverage of the banking network in the country will increase three-fold in one go, he said.
Mr Sibal said financial services at post office will cost a fraction of the cost of setting up a bank branch.
Besides, post offices could also double up as retail intermediaries, buying rural products, besides being delivery vehicle for schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). "This is what we need to be doing. I hope we have resources," he said.
The DGCA asked scheduled airlines to ensure that no upward revision in tariff is effected due to ongoing industrial unrest in Air India and also surge in demand during this period
New Delhi: Noting that private airlines have suddenly raised fares by up to 20% on certain sectors in view of Air India strike, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday warned them against hiking fares beyond their band, saying the cost of operation has not undergone any major change over the past two months, reports PTI.
The DGCA order came in the wake of some member of parliament (MPs) raising the issue in Parliament yesterday and asking the government to act.
"It has been brought to the notice of the DGCA through search of websites of airlines and media reports as well as feedback from air travellers that fares on certain high demand sectors have registered a sudden spurt, which is almost 15% to 20% higher on various metro routes compared to a month ago," the DGCA said in its order.
It noted that the cost of operation of scheduled airlines on account of various constituent elements have not undergone any major change over the past two months.
"In view of the above, all the scheduled domestic airlines are directed to ensure that fares offered on various sectors remain within the fare band uploaded on the website of respective airlines," the DGCA order said.
It asked the scheduled airlines to "ensure that no upward revision in tariff is effected due to ongoing industrial unrest in Air India and also surge in demand during this period."
The order said any violation of these directives will be dealt with under the provisions of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, which provides for intervention by the DGCA in case transparency in air fares is violated by any airline,
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had raised the issue in Rajya Sabha yesterday, saying passengers were facing harassment due to cancellation of Air India flights on one hand and hike in fares by private airlines on the other.