HC directs Kingfisher to pay dues of Rs 52.61 lakh to pilot

New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines Ltd has been directed by the Delhi High Court to pay Rs 52.61 lakh to a pilot towards her outstanding salary and other dues from August 2012 to April 2014.

Justice Jayant Nath directed the now defunct airline to pay the pilot Rs 52,61,450 with nine per cent interest from the date of filing till recovery of the amount as well as cost of litigation.

The court passed the order as none appeared on behalf of the grounded carrier despite serving of summons of judgment. It referred to a 2011 letter sent to the pilot by which her salary was revised to Rs 2.24 lakh per month, and said the communication was a written contract.

It also observed that in the case of other pilots of the airline in similar situations, the high court had decreed the suits in their favour.

"It is stated that the plaintiff (pilot) has not been paid a salary since August 2012 till April 31, 2014 amounting to a total of Rs 47,04,000 in addition including the provident fund and gratuity the total amount is Rs 52,61,450.

"Defendant (Kingfisher Airline) has failed to enter appearance pursuant to service of summons of judgment. The suit is accordingly decreed for the said sum of Rs 52,61,450 with costs. Plaintiff shall also be entitled to pendent lite interest of nine per cent per annum from the date of filing of the suit till recovery," the court said.

The pilot had worked for Deccan Aviation Ltd since 2007 and in 2011 the airline had merged with Kingfisher. From 2011 onwards she was a regular employee of Kingfisher Airlines.

The airline had shut its operations from Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata in 2012 and she was relocated to Delhi. She alleged in her plea, filed through advocate Mohan Krishna Ghosh, that the airline "created a false impression" regarding its revival and thus she had worked for more than 21 months without salary because of which she "heavily suffered" both professionally and financially.

"Despite various oral and written reminders, personal visits and follow up the defendant has failed and neglected to make the outstanding payment, which is due and payable to the plaintiff, in utter disregard and breach of its obligation and promises," the plea said.

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