Mumbai News: HC Grants Interim Relief For 2 Former Jet Airways Pilots

Mumbai News: HC Grants Interim Relief For 2 Former Jet Airways Pilots

The pilots had applied for online release of PF as they were not paid their salaries by Jet Airways. However after making several attempts, the PF could not be withdrawn due to the website crashing repeatedly.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Sunday, May 12, 2024, 12:33 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court has granted interim relief to two former Jet Airways pilots and stayed criminal proceedings against them for allegedly bribing an Employees Provident Fund  Organisation (EPFO) staffer to get their provident fund released. 

A bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande, on Friday, stayed the summons and proceedings before the special CBI court while hearing a petition filed by Ashish Hingarh and  Rishiraj Chawla, who  now working with Qatar Airways.

Pilots Seek Relief Against FIR Charges Under Prevention Of Corruption Act

The duo has sought  stay of the summons issued to them and also sought quashing of the FIR chargesheet filed against them for offences punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act.

The pilots had applied for online release of PF as they were not paid their salaries by Jet Airways. However after making several attempts, the PF could not be withdrawn due to the website crashing repeatedly.

In Nov 2019 a friend shared the number  of  an agent / consultant Machindra Bamne. Thereafter they transferred Rs10,000 and Rs15,000 to Bamne through NEFT and their PF was released. Recently they learnt that a charge-sheet has been filed in the special court against them and others along with Bamne.

Pilots Unaware Of Public Servant Status In EPFO Consultation

Their counsel Haresh Jagtiani submitted that they have never met Bamne and have only spoken to him over the phone in November 2019. He said his clients were informed Bamne was operating a consultancy of EPFO with his wife and that he would comply with the petitioners’ paperwork and would charge a consultation fee for the same, to be paid online after the work is completed.

The pilots contended  that they were unaware that Bamne or his wife were public servants. They were always made to believe that  he was merely an agent/ consultant to help process PF for consideration of a small fee. Jagtiani said if they were aware Bamne was a public servant they would not have transferred money to him legitimately by bank transfer.

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