Conflict of interest concerns: Pilots object to AI Director’s continuation

PTI Mumbai | Updated on January 04, 2021

Air India’s pilot unions IPG and ICPA on Monday urged the airline to replace its Director (Commercial) Meenakshi Mallik, alleging that her continuation at the post amounts to ‘conflict of interest’, as she has submitted a bid for the company as head of the employee consortium.

Replying to the allegation, Mallik told PTI she has already recused herself from the board meet on disinvestment, and is involved only in the day-to-day functioning of the airline.

“On November 30, I wrote to the Chairman and the board that I am participating in the bids, I will recuse myself from the board whenever any discussion pertaining to the disinvestment comes up,” Mallik said.

Stating that she is involved only in the day-to-day functioning of the airline, she added: “I have no idea about the letter. As far as putting bids is concerned, the Government of India has given me the rights to bid and I am only following that.”

On December 14, which was the deadline for submitting bids, the government said it had received multiple expressions of interest for the strategic disinvestment of Air India. But it did not disclose the participants’ names. However, sources had said that Tata Sons, a group of Air India employees headed by Mallik and a US-based firm Interups Inc had put in bids.

Unions’ complaint

In a joint letter to Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal on Monday, the two pilot unions said: "This is with reference to the office order... dated December 16 through which it has been acknowledged that a consortium of management employees has submitted a bid for strategic disinvestment of Air India."

They added that the office order, issued with the CMD's approval, directs all participating employees to inform the headquarters and expressly forbids them from handling any policy or strategic matter with a direct or indirect bearing to the disinvestment of Air India.

Published on January 04, 2021

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