KARACH - A division bench of the Sindh High Court Friday directed Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (Palpa) to find the out of court settlement of their row over Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani and Justice Abdul Hadi Khoso issued these directives while hearing a constitutional petition filed by Palpa challenging the conditions of the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act imposed on the cockpit crew by the government. A PIA representative, who appeared before the bench, told the court that all PIA officials and officers used to work according to the conditions of the said act. The court after hearing his arguments issued directives to Civil Aviation Authority to check this act and inform the court whether PIA was violating the law or not. The court then adjourned the hearing till September 30. The petitioner submitted that the PIA with mala fide intentions got a notification issued through the ministry of defence under Section 3 of the Pakistan Essential Services (maintenance) Act to control the cockpit crew. It further submitted that the PIA and the petitioners had a working agreement, which regulated the cockpit crew section and ensured that the pilots got sufficient rest and sleep. However, he said, the cockpit crew was not getting proper sleep and rest as there was a shortage of at least 148 pilots in the national flag carrier. In the last hearing, the petitioners counsel submitted that the pilots were overworked against all international aviation norms and standards, which may result in fatal accidents such as the recent Air Blue jetliner crash in Islamabad. The counsel stated that the government imposed the conditions of the Act on the PIA cockpit crew, which carried punishment of one-year term and removal from service for violation. He said that the imposition of the Act was in sheer violation of the working agreement between the PIA and the cockpit crew. The plaintiff prayed to the court for the suspension of the notification by the ministry of defence imposing condition of the Act on the petitioners. The petitioner said that the PIA filed a suit in the high court saying that the Palpa members had virtually went on a strike by directing its members to employ go-slow method and obtained an ex-parte order of injunction against them. It further said that the PIA got the notification of the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act issued from the defence ministry to obtain command and control on cockpit crew so that it could avoid the implementation of the working agreement. It also submitted that the PIA wanted to pressurise the pilots in flying condition where the pilots do not have proper rest and sleep in accordance with the international standards.