The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bar on airport strike

Sept. 24: Delhi High Court has restrained airport employees from pressing ahead with a nationwide strike on Monday to protest privatisation.

'The Airport Authority Employees' Union and its members are restrained from going on strike or mass casual leave on September 27 or any other date or in any manner disrupting the normal functioning of the domestic and international airports as well as the civil enclave in India, particularly not to agitate in terms of the threat/programme mentioned in the notice dated August 25 and September 2,' Justice Vikramajit Sen said.

The court was responding to a petition by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which contended that the protest programme was 'illegal'.

'I am satisfied that a prima facie case has been made out for the issuance of the ad interim injunction prayed for and that if only notice is issued in the first instance it shall defeat the purpose of filing the suit,' the judge said.

Leaders of the joint action forum which had called for the mass leave were not available for comment. The AAI told the court that the Delhi government was contemplating invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act, but the Left Front government in Bengal is unlikely to opt for such a step.

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who was in Calcutta today, said he would meet members of the forum in Mumbai tomorrow.

Forum representatives from Calcutta will also take part in the talks. Sources said a breakthrough is expected unless the federation chooses to defy the court.

'There will be no disruption of flights,' Patel said. 'We have sufficient manpower to handle such situations.'

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