WIJENAIKE v. AIR LANKA LIMITED AND OTHERS |1990 1SLR 293

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The petitioner joined Air Lanka as a Cadet Pilot on 10.06.84. He left the country on 22.12.87
with a view to employment with Gull Air having applied on 19.12.87 (or 03 years no pay
leave. Leave however was refused. On 04.02.88 the petitioner returned and on 22.02.88
applied to be rostered for duty. This was not allowed. Air Lanka by letter dated 06.05.88
informed petitioner that he had vacated post. The petitioner’s position was that he had only
prospected for foreign employment and he had made a separate application for annual
leave (55 days) and left with the assurance of the Chief Pilot that it would be allowed and
returned before the expiry of the annual leave. He also submitted that other officers who
sought foreign employment had received favoured treatment. On his appeal to the
authorities, the Chairman, Air Lanka on 23.08.99 wrote that his grievance would be looked
into. On 08.11.88 the Chairman informed the petitioner he could not be re-employed. The
questions for determination were,
(1) was the application time barred;
(2) was this only a question of breach of contract not involving statutory and
constitutional rights;
(3) has there been unequal treatment in violation of petitioner’s rights under Article
12( 1).

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