Air India told to take back sacked air hostess

Friday, December 10, 2010

KOLKATA - The Calcutta High Court Friday ordered the Indian Airlines, now Air India, to take back air hostess Nipa Dhar, who was sacked in 2001 for being overweight.

“The division bench comprising Justice Pratap Kumar Roy and Justice M.K.Sinha directed Air India to reinstate Dhar in service within two months. It has also directed the airlines to set up a medical board to ascertain her medical condition and give her ground duties according to the recommendation of the board,” said Dhar’s counsel Madhumita Roy.

The bench has also asked the Air India authorities to pay within three months all her dues pending since 2001, she said.

All smiles after the judgment, Dhar said: “I am very happy, relaxed and relieved.”

Hailing the judgment, counsel Roy said: “Its a historic judgment with a new dimension and without any orthodox view.”

In 2001, Dhar was warned by the airlines authorities that she was 15 kg overweight. Dhar then requested a ground job instead of flying.

But she was later served a termination notice by the authorities without referring her to medical treatment or providing any alternative work like ground duty.

She then filed a case with the Calcutta High Court, where a single judge bench rejected her plea and upheld her dismissal.

Dhar then appealed against the order before a division bench.

Her counsel submitted that Dhar had become overweight after taking medicines prescribed by an airline doctor for altitude phobia.

Meanwhile, an Air India spokesperson told IANS: “We are in the process of examining the details. We are not in a position to say anything right now. Its a sensitive issue.”

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