Air India employees to leave govt. flats by July 31: Delhi HC

The court deemed the collection of penal rent by the government from Air India Colony residents to be illegal and ordered the company to reimburse the employees’ salary soon

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The Delhi High Court has ordered that all Air India Limited (AIL) workers residing in the Air India Colony, Vasant Vihar, must leave their flats by July 31. The company has been asking employees to vacate their flats. Some employees have even witnessed salary deductions with amounts varying from 15,000 to 90,000 rupees.

Justice Mini Pushkarna noted that since Air India Limited employees are no longer government workers following its privatisation, they have no legal claim to government housing. According to court documents, out of 146 occupants, 54 individuals had already vacated their flats and 66 said they will vacate their flats by July 31. However, 38 residents stated that they would only vacate their residences within one month after the land in question had been monetized. On March 24th, the court dismissed the argument put forth by these 38 occupants.

The Air India Colony apartments are situated on government-owned land. Last year in May, the residents of the colony, consisting of pilots, engineers, and other AIL workers, were instructed to leave their residences.

Justice Pushkarna noted that accommodation cannot be considered a guaranteed right and is only granted to employees based on the availability of housing in their respective areas. However, the court deemed the collection of penal rent by the government from Air India Colony residents to be illegal. The court instructed that the penal rent, which is being deducted from employees’ salaries, be reimbursed by August 15, 2023.

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