DON'T MESS WITH MOUSTACHE, SHOWCAUSED PURSER TELLS 

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By BY OUR LEGAL REPORTER in Calcutta
  • Published 5.12.00
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Calcutta, Dec. 5 :    Calcutta, Dec. 5:  Indian Airlines (IA) has showcaused flight purser Joy Nath Victor Dey, who refused to shave off his moustache, in accordance with the airline's norms, even after he was shifted to ground duty for his stubbornness. Challenging the notice, Dey had filed a petition in the high court and Justice Ashok Ganguly will deliver his judgment within a couple of days. A flight purser with Indian Airlines for several years, Dey had moved Calcutta High Court in December last year, challenging the airline's strictures on the dress and personal appearance of pursers. The airline's circular states: "The hair should be neat and tidy and not touch the shirt collar. The face should be clean-shaven, without long sideburns, and moustache trimmed so as not to touch the upper lip." Sikhs are exempted from these norms on religious grounds. In his petition, Dey said he was not bound to follow the airline's directive on the size of his moustache. "No such guideline is specified in the service manual and how I want to wear my moustache is entirely my choice. My employers can't run after me with a pair of scissors. Besides, when Sikhs are allowed to grow their moustache, how can they stop me?" he asked. However, Indian Airlines' advocate R.L. Majumdar maintains the service manual has, subsequently, been upgraded to include this clause. An earlier court order had directed the airline to allow Dey to rejoin work as purser. However, his employers forced Dey to work on the ground and refused to take him back on board. Later, they had filed an appeal, demanding the quashing of Justice Ghosh's order.