After Air India's decision to ban Shankar Mishra, who allegedly urinated on an elderly woman co-passenger, from flying with the airline for four months, his legal team said that they disagreed with the committee's findings and are already in the process of appealing this decision in accordance with the DGCA CAR for Unruly Passengers.
On Thursday, Air India banned Shankar Mishra from flying with the airline for four months after an internal committee determined that he was an unruly passenger who allegedly urinated on a co-passenger. His advocates Ishanee Sharma and Akshat Bajpai said, "We respect the authority and mandate of the Internal Inquiry Committee, but we disagree with their findings and are already in the process of appealing this decision in accordance with the DGCA CAR for Unruly Passengers."
Mishra's lawyers' statement
A statement issued to ANI by Mishra's lawyer said, "We would particularly like to point out that the Internal Inquiry Committee's ruling hinges upon their incorrect understanding of the layout of the Aircraft."
"When the Committee could not find an adequate explanation as to how the accused could have urinated on the complainant sitting on seat 9A without also affecting the passenger on Seat 9C, it has erroneously gone on to assume that there was a seat 9B in the business class in the aircraft and imagined that the accused could have stood at this imaginary seat and urinated on the complainant on seat 9A. However, there is no seat 9B in the business class on the craft - only seats 9A and 9C," the statement said.
Lawyers said that based on these unfounded and clearly incorrect conjectures, the Committee has essentially manufactured a possibility that the accused had committed the alleged act.
"This finding is particularly surprising considering that there were two aviation experts on the committee. We maintain the innocence of the accused and have full faith in the judicial system of the country," lawyers added.
"The independent 3-member Internal Committee under the chairmanship of ex-District Judge has concluded that Shankar Mishra is covered under the definition of "unruly passenger" and banned from flying for 4 months as per relevant provisions of Civil Aviation Requirements," said an Air India spokesperson on Thursday.
"Air India has also shared a copy of the Internal Committee report with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and will also be intimating other airlines operating in the country," a Spokesperson of Air India said.
Shankar Mishra's arrest
Delhi Police had arrested Shankar Mishra from Bengaluru on January 6, 2023, and presently, he is in Judicial Custody in Delhi. The Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi's Patiala House Court had also denied him bail in the matter.
Mr Mishra had allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman in an intoxicated condition in the business class of an Air India flight on November 26 last year.
Delhi Police had registered the First Information Report (FIR) against him on January 4 on a complaint given by the woman to Air India under sections 354, 509, and 510 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )