Air India peeing scandal: Airlines imposes 4-month ban on Shankar Mishra

Shankar Mishra is accused of urinating on a woman co-passenger onboard a flight in November last year.

New Delhi: Air India has imposed a four-month flying ban on Shankar Mishra, who is accused of urinating on a woman co-passenger onboard a flight in November last year, a source said on Thursday.

The incident happened on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi on November 26, 2022. Currently, Mishra is in jail and the case is before a Delhi court. He was allegedly in an inebriated state at the time of the incident.

The source said the airline has imposed a flying ban on Mishra for four months.

The flying ban was recommended by a three-member internal committee set up under DGCA norms.

Specific details could not be immediately ascertained.

On January 4, Air India said it had imposed a 30-day travel ban on Mishra but did not disclose the specific date from which the ban came into force.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on January 5, issued notices to the officials and crew of the New York-Delhi flight, asking why action should not be taken against them for "dereliction" of duty while handling the November 26 'urination' incident.

"The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure," the regulator had said about the incident.

DGCA has issued show cause notices to the accountable manager of Air India, its director of in-flight services, and 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.

Under DGCA rules, the airline concerned is responsible for informing the regulator within 12 hours of the landing of the aircraft in case of any incident of unruly passengers/ passenger rage/misconduct reported in their flight, the statement said.

Besides, the airline concerned has to set up a three-member internal committee. It will have a retired District and Sessions Judge as Chairman, a representative from a different scheduled airline as a member and a representative from a passengers' association or consumer association or a retired officer of the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as the third member.

The committee can decide on the duration of the flying ban on the unruly passenger within 30 days and there could be a lifetime ban.

During the pendency of the decision by the committee, the airline concerned may ban such unruly passengers from flying for a period of up to 30 days, as per the rules.

After the committee takes the decision, the airline should maintain a database of all such unruly passengers and inform the same to DGCA, which is the custodian for maintaining the 'no-fly list'.

The woman, who had accused Mishra of urinating on her on the flight, on January 13 rejected the claims made by him that she seems to have urinated on herself, saying these are "completely false and concocted and by their very nature are disparaging and derogatory".

Mishra's counsel, while arguing against a police petition seeking revision of an order passed by a magisterial court refusing his custodial interrogation, on January 12 claimed that he did not commit the offence and that she urinated on herself.

On January 8, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran admitted that Air India's response to the incident of the drunk passenger urinating on the woman should have been "much swifter".

"We fell short of addressing this situation the way we should have," he had said in a statement.

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