Bombay High Court Rejects Air India Staff's Plea Against MIAL's Demolition Plans Of 19 Buildings

Bombay High Court Rejects Air India Staff's Plea Against MIAL's Demolition Plans Of 19 Buildings

Air India Staff Colony Association allege that the action was illegally Initiated against the 19 unoccupied buildings in Air India Colony in Kalina.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, February 05, 2024, 11:35 PM IST
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The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a plea by Air India Staff Colony Association challenging demolition undertaken by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) alleging that the action was illegally Initiated against the 19 unoccupied buildings in Air India Colony in Kalina. 

Court's observations

The court noted that the employees are merely licensees of the apartments and their right is limited to service contract. 

The court also recorded MIAL's statement that it would demolish only the 19 unoccupied buildings,of the total 105 structures. It said it would take due care regarding occupied buildings, including a school in the premises. 

Justice RN Laddha said that there was no infirmity in the January 25 order of the Dindoshi City civil court which refused to grant an ad interim relief in favour of the association.

The court also refused to grant a status quo in the matter on a request by Association's advocate Ashok Shetty. 310 families, still residing in the colony,  had approached the HC. Initially, there were over 1,200 families residing there. Shetty sought  status quo till February 13,when the Supreme Court will hear a related matter. 

Background details of case

On January 26, MIAL had made a statement that it will not take any coercive steps against the 19 buildings  till January 29 and the same was later continued till February 2. The court had then continued the status quo in the matter till February 5.

The Air India colony is spread over an 184-acre land parcel. At present 310 families still reside there who are against the handover of the airport to the Adani group. As part of its expansion plan, the MIAL had initiated the demolition of 19 vacant buildings at the Colony amid protests by Air India employees.

The land on which the colony was built was owned by the state government and was leased to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which had given the land to Air India.

Counsel's arguments

MIAL’s counsel Vikram Nankani argued that the colony was situated on the land which was leased to it and the same was required for airport expansion, which is congested. Nankani also contended that employees do not have vested rights in vacant buildings in the colony.

Shetty argued that MIAL had violated the order of the Supreme Court staying demolition.  The employees claimed that they were not against the redevelopment projects, but claimed that they should not lose company benefits, including colony accommodation facilities.

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