NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indian court has ordered state-run Indian Airlines to reinstate three air hostesses it sacked for being overweight, the Times of India reported on Wednesday.
The ruling follows a complaint by the three women to the Delhi High Court that their dismissal was illegal.
"It is quite clear that Indian Airlines Ltd has not applied its mind to germane factors before taking a decision to terminate the petitioners' services," Justice Rajiv Shakdher was quoted as saying in his ruling in favour of the three women.
"The reasons given had no link with the conclusion reached which was to dispense with the services of the petitioners," Shakdher said, before ordering the airline to reinstate the women with full back wages and benefits.
The three had been recruited to work as air hostesses, but were transferred to ground staff after gaining weight, and were subsequently dismissed.
The airline said they had failed to maintain their weight within the limits set out in their contract.
The women argued that they were given no chance to explain the reasons for their weight gain. One cited medical reasons, another said it was due to stress caused by her husband and in-laws.
Defending its decision, Indian Airlines argued that appearance, manners and physical fitness were required of both men and women working in the travel industry.