Tata Group-owned Air India today told aviation sector regulator DGCA that its employees did not complain to law enforcement about a Mumbai businessman who allegedly urinated on a female passenger on a New York-Delhi flight in November because the aggrieved woman “retaliated”. The initial request for action after the two “emerged” was to resolve the issue.
Sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Air India on Thursday sent a reply to DGCA’s January 4 notice, detailing the incident that took place on November 26, 2022 flight AI 102, Press Trust of India reported.
It said the unnamed business class offender has been banned from flying Air India for 30 days, pending a report by its internal committee.
Quoting Air India’s reply, the committee has received the necessary documents and held its first hearing, sources said.
The accused criminal has requested additional documents ahead of a second hearing scheduled for January 10, they said.
Although a case was registered by the Palam police station in Delhi, the flight fare was refunded to the aggrieved passenger.
Giving details of the incident, Air India informed the DGCA that its cabin crew received a complaint from a female passenger on board AI 102 on November 26, 2022 that a male fellow passenger had soiled her clothes and bag by relieving himself near the seat she was occupying.
The crew helped the female passenger to a different seat in the same class and provided a set of dry clothes and slippers.
The female passenger first requested that action be taken against the culprit upon arrival. However, later, he withdrew his request when the two parties seemed to have resolved the issue between them, Air India informed the DGCA.
Sources said the airline in its reply said the cabin crew reported the incident to the commander and logged it in the voyage report.
As there were no further incidents of tension or confrontation, and respecting the perceived wishes of the female passenger, the crew decided not to summon law enforcement during the landing, it added.
The matter has been reported to the internal committee as per the rules for declaring a passenger ‘irregular’.
The airline said it is in regular contact with the aggrieved passenger and his family during the investigation and reporting process.
Also, Air India is reviewing standing instructions for crew to report such incidents to authorities on arrival, even in situations where the alleged victim does not wish to make such a report.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)
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