The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday issued Show Cause notices to Air India, crew members and pilots of the New York-Delhi flight in connection with the urination incident on board on November 26 last year.
In a statement, DGCA said, "A show cause notice has been issued to the Accountable Manager of Air India, the Director of in-flight Services of Air India, all the pilots and cabin crew members of that flight as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations." The incident of passenger misbehaviour which occurred on the AI-102 flight on November 26, 2022, from New York to New Delhi, came to the notice of DGCA on Wednesday wherein a male passenger conducted himself in a disorderly manner and allegedly relieved himself on a female passenger.
"For fact-finding, DGCA sought the details of the incident from Air India and on the basis of the reply of the airline, prima facie it emerges that provisions related to the handling of an unruly passenger on board have not been complied with," the DGCA said.
DGCA says conduct of concerned airline appears to be unprofessional
The DGCA said that the conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure.
"Prima facie it lacks appreciation of regulatory obligations as described in applicable Aircraft Rules 1937, Civil Aviation Requirements on 'Handling of Unruly Passengers', Cabin Safety Circular, Air India Operations Manual, Air India Safety and Emergency Procedure Manual and Air India Quick Reference Handbook and is devoid of empathy," it reads.
However, to meet the ends of justice, they have been given two weeks' time to submit their reply to DGCA and based on that further action will be taken.
The urinating incident
A man allegedly urinated on an elderly woman co-passenger during a New York-Delhi flight in November last year. The shocking incident occurred on November 26 when the flight was on its way from John F Kennedy international airport in New York to Delhi. The inebriated male passenger allegedly urinated on an elderly woman and flashed his private parts.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation directed the airline to conduct an internal probe into the matter and submit the report as soon as possible, said top government sources on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police said that the man who allegedly urinated on an elderly woman co-passenger onboard an Air India flight was a resident of Mumbai and will be arrested at the earliest.
"The accused is a resident of Mumbai, but his possible location is in some other state and the police team has reached there. We will arrest the accused at the earliest," said Delhi Police.
The Police on Wednesday filed an FIR on the shocking incident based on a complaint by Air India.
The police have registered an FIR in the matter under sections 354, 509, and 510 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act. Both the accused and the victim are from outside Delhi.
Air India on Wednesday imposed a 30-day flying ban on the passenger.
The National Commission for Women has taken cognisance of the incident onboard the Air India flight in which the inebriated male passenger also flashed his private parts at the elderly woman.
The NCW has sought a detailed action taken report on the matter within seven days from the Delhi Police Commissioner.
In her letter, the woman said the 'appalling incident' occurred shortly after the lunch was served and the lights were switched off, as she was getting ready to sleep. The flight had taken off from John F Kennedy international airport in New York.
She said that within minutes, an inebriated male walked to her seat and unzipped his pants, relieving himself and continued to expose his private parts until another passenger asked him to return to his seat.
"I am writing to express my deep disappointment regarding the appalling incident that occurred during my business class trip on flight AI102 (commencing in NY, JFK yesterday 26th November at 12.30 pm, and arriving this afternoon in New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport at approximately 1.30 pm). This has been the most traumatic flight that I have ever experienced." "During the course of the flight, shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off, I was getting ready to sleep, and another passenger walked to my seat completely inebriated. He unzipped his pants, relieved himself, and continued to expose me to his private parts. The passenger sitting next to me asked him to return to his seat. He did not respond immediately, but after a few moments left the area," the letter read.
The woman passenger who is in her seventies, in the letter, also highlighted that when asked for a change of seat, "the airline refused and informed her there were no seats available". She also complained about being allotted a small seat used by the airline staff, by one of the senior stewardesses.
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