Ajay Brahme, the legal representative of the former employees and pilots of the Kingfisher Airlines, explains on CNBC-TV18 that the legal notice served to the management of the airlines also seeks to initiate criminal charges and winding up of the company on failure to respond within 21 days.
Below is an edited transcript of the interview on CNBC-TV18
Q1: You have already served a legal notice on behalf of the former employees on the Kingfisher management. But we understand that the engineers association, whom you also represent haven't decided whether it is indeed going ahead with a legal recourse or not. What is the final decision of the Kingfisher's Engineers Association?
A: We have issued a legal notice on behalf of the former employees and former pilots. The notice pertains to three aspects- the first concerns winding up under Sections 433 and 434 of Companies Act 1956. The second aspect involves cheating and fraud because the KFA management had assured and represented to the employees that they should continue working and that their dues would be paid. Based on this representation, the employees kept on working but despite that, they have not been paid their dues.
The third aspect involves criminal misappropriation because the funds pertaining to provident fund and gratuity deducted from the salaries are still with the management. In fact, will framing the salaries of 2010 and 2011, the management deducted TDS, but has not issued Form 16 to the employees which could have beeen used to claim refund. That essentially means that the money which has been actually entrusted with the management has not been paid and that amounts to criminal misappropriation.
Q: That's the notice that you have filed on behalf of the former employees. But has a decision now been taken by the current employees whom you also represent – the Kingfisher Engineers Association- have they decided to go ahead? Are they also likely to file a similar legal notice?
A: I would like to kindly reserve my comments on this aspect.
Q: Your legal notice to the Kingfisher management allows 21 days to respond, failing, which you will go ahead and file the winding-up petition?
A: That's right.
Q: So what will the process be if indeed you were not to hear from the Kingfisher management? How would you go about filing the winding up petition?
A: We will file a petition before the court of appropriate jurisdiction at Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai. The notice also pertains to initiation of criminal charges apart from cheating and fraud. So, we will go whole hog and initiate legal action on these three counts to settle the case.
Q: You are saying you could also explore criminal charges being filed against the Kingfisher management?
A: Yes, we will. Apart from seeking the remedy of winding up, we will also initiate cases of mismanagement, fraud and cheating.