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Suspended AAI employee gets relief from Bombay High Court

In a relief to a suspended employee of Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Bombay High Court has asked him to make a fresh representation to a higher authority against the action.

Bombay High Court

Hearing a petition filed by K S Lakshminarasimhan and his wife S Mangla, both employees of AAI, a division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and A A Sayyed last week allowed Lakshminarasimhan to make a fresh representation to S Raheja, Member (Planning) AAI who is holding charge of the post of AAI Chairman for three months.

Lakshminarasimhan contended that he was suspended because his wife was a whistle-blower in a scam in AAI pertaining to high-rise buildings being allowed in the vicinity of the airports and also because he had appeared along with his wife in the High Court during the hearing of a PIL about alleged violation of safety rules due to such buildings.

His wife had been named as one of the respondents along with AAI in the PIL.

He said AAI had suspended him contending that he had appeared in the High Court along with his wife without taking its approval.

However, Lakshminarasimhan said he had documents to show that he appeared in the court on orders from his bosses.

He argued that the order of December 17, 2015, suspending him from service is illegal because it was issued without conducting a preliminary inquiry into the allegations made against him.

Moreover, it also included a transfer order wherein he was moved from Mumbai to Kolkata.

Lakshminarasimhan argued that his wife was in Mumbai and his daughter was studying in the megapolis and hence he should not be shifted to Kolkata from Mumbai.

The PIL filed earlier in the High Court, which became the cause of petitioners suspension, involved alleged safety violations by AAI to grant building height clearances to high- rises that came along the flight paths of Juhu airport and Mumbai airport.

The whistle-blower — who exposed these “violations” which led to the filing of the PIL — was the petitioner’s wife who also was AAI Deputy General Manager (Aviation Safety).

The matter has been adjourned by four weeks to enable the respondents — the Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation and the current AAI Chairman — to file affidavits in reply.

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