The Delhi High Court, while dismissing an Ex Indigo Employee's plea, observed that a writ petition challenging termination which is based on private contract is not maintainable.

The petitioner sought several reliefs, including quashing a termination letter issued by respondent no.3 (Interglobe Aviation Ltd. - INDIGO AIRLINES), directing the respondents to consider and dispose of representations, and awarding compensation for various damages.

A Bench of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela held, “Merely because the petitioner has challenged or sent a representation to the DGCA on his alleged illegal termination, cannot be construed to mean, as if the petitioner’s termination would become a subject matter of a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The major or the original action of termination ought to be by an Authority, which falls within the definition as ascribed under Article 12 of the Constitution of India, to be assailable under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Similar action of termination by any other Authority unless they are performing a public duty, would not fall within the purview of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.”

Advocate Gautam Das appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate Jagdish Chandra Solanki appeared for the Respondents.

The main argument put forth by the petitioner was that the termination was contrary to the DGCA Regulations, specifically related to reporting fatigue. The petitioner contended that the termination was unlawful and that representations submitted to the DGCA and Union of India have not received any response.

However, the Court, after considering the submissions, concluded that the termination was based on a contractual relationship between the petitioner and respondent no.3. The Court found that the DGCA is not a regulatory authority for the terms and conditions of the contract.

It referred to a judgment in another case to support the view that Article 226 writ petitions may not be maintainable against private entities not performing a public duty.

The Court determined that the termination, being a result of a private contract, was not amenable to judicial review under Article 226. The Court dismissed the petition on the grounds of maintainability.

Cause Title: Subhojeet Chatterjee v. Union of India & Ors.

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