Air India on Wednesday said that a drunk man who allegedly exposed himself and urinated on an elderly woman on board a flight in November has been banned from the airline for 30 days, PTI reported.

The airline filed a police complaint on December 28. “If found guilty, action will be taken against the unruly passenger as per regulatory guidelines,” an Air India spokesperson said.

The Delhi Police on Wednesday registered a first information report under Indian Penal Code Sections 294 (obscene act in public place), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) as well as under Aircraft Rules.

“We have formed multiple teams to keep a track of the accused passenger and he will be arrested soon,” an unidentified police officer told PTI.

The case

The incident took place on a flight from New York to New Delhi on November 26, The Times of India reported.

However, the unruly passenger walked free as the cabin crew did not apprehend the man even after the woman complained about the incident.

It was only after the woman wrote a letter to Tata Group Chairperson Natarajan Chandrasekaran that Air India decided to take action against the man, according to The Times of India.

“The crew was not proactive in managing a very sensitive and traumatic situation, and I had to advocate for myself throughout, waiting for long periods of time to get a response,” the woman wrote in the letter. “I am...distressed that the airline made no attempt to ensure my safety or comfort during this incident.”

The woman said the man had walked to her seat in the business class section in a drunken state shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off.

“He unzipped his pants, relieved himself and continued to expose me to his private parts,” she said, adding that the man continued to stand there exposing himself till another passenger asked him to leave.

The woman said that she then informed the cabin crew about the incident.

“My clothes, shoes and bag were completely soaked in urine,” she said, according to the newspaper. “The stewardess followed me to the seat, verified that it smelled of urine, and sprayed disinfectant on my bag and shoes.”

The letter said that woman was given a set of pyjamas and disposable slippers to change into and asked to sit on a crew seat for an hour before being told to return to her own seat.

“Although the staff had put sheets on top, the area was still reeking of urine,” she said.

The woman added that she was given another crew seat two hours later for the remainder of the flight, even as she learnt that several first class seats were vacant.

“Clearly the crew did not feel that taking care of a distressed passenger was a priority,” the woman wrote.

She added: “At the end of the flight, the staff told me they would get me a wheelchair to ensure that I clear customs as early as possible. However, the wheelchair deposited me at a waiting area, where I waited for 30 minutes, and nobody came to get me. I finally had to clear customs on my own and collect the luggage by myself – all in Air India pyjamas and socks.”

Aviation regulator seeks report

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has directed the airline to submit a report on the incident and said that it will take action against those found negligent.

Air India said it has constituted an internal committee to look into lapses on the part of its crew and to address the deficiencies that led to a delay in redressing the situation. “We’re in regular contact with the aggrieved passenger and her family during the probe and reporting process,” it said.

The National Commission for Women also wrote to Chandrasekaran to intervene in the matter. The “horrendous behaviour” of the man violated the woman’s right to live a life of dignity and safety, the commission said.