Air India urination case: DGCA imposes fine of Rs 30 lakh on airline
The regulatory body has also suspended license of pilot-in-command for a period of three months and imposed Rs 3 lakh penalty on director-in-flight.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India for violating rules while dealing with the urination case from November, reported ANI.
The civil aviation regulator also suspended the license of the pilot-in-command for three months for failing to discharge his duties. A Rs 3 lakh penalty has also been imposed on the airline’s director for in-flight services, reported the news agency.
On November 26, during a flight from New York to Delhi, a man named Shankar Mishra had allegedly walked to the seat of a woman in the business class section in a drunken state, unzipped his pants and urinated on her. However, Mishra walked free as the cabin crew did not apprehend the man even after the woman complained about the incident.
On January 5, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had said that at first glance it appeared that Air India had not complied with provisions related to the handling of an unruly passenger on board. It had also directed the airline to submit a report on the incident and said that it will take action against those found negligent.
Air India had decided to take action against the man after the woman wrote a letter to Tata Group Chairperson Natarajan Chandrasekaran.
“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 airline had filed a police complaint on December 28 after which a case was filed against Mishra.
According to the first information report by the Delhi Police, the flight crew had brought Mishra to the woman’s seat and forced her to negotiate with him. The FIR also said that the flight staff informed the woman that Mishra wanted to apologise to her. Despite her refusal to not see him, the crew had forced the confrontation between the two, the FIR said.
Mishra was arrested by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru on January 7. A court in the national capital sent him to 14-day judicial remand, denying the police his custody. On Thursday, Air India banned Mishra from the airline for four months.
However, Advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Mishra, had said that owing to the seating arrangement on the flight, it was not possible for his client to go near the complainant’s seat.
On January 13, Mishra had claimed that the woman may have urinated herself, and said that she suffered from a medical condition.
His claims are a complete departure from his earlier statements when he had told a magistrate court that his act was not driven by sexual desire nor aimed at outraging the women’s modesty. He had also admitted that what he did was “revolting and appalling”.