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Air India fined Rs 30 lakh, pilot grounded over urination incident on flight

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Air India has been slapped a Rs 30 lakh and the licence of the pilot-in-charge of its New York-Delhi flight on which a drunk passenger urinated on a woman has been suspended for three months by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

A penalty of Rs three lakh has also been imposed on director-in-flight services of Air India for “failing to discharge her duties.”

Air Indias aid, “We acknowledge gaps in our reporting and are taking relevant steps to ensure that they are addressed.”

“We’re also strengthening our crews’ awareness of and compliance with policies on handling of incidents involving unruly passengers,” the airline statement added.

The incident took place on the flight on November 26 and the accused, Shankar Mishra had walked away scot-free after the flight landed in New Delhi.

Action was initiated only after the victim wrote to the Air India group chairman about the incident.

Air India filed a police complaint 6 weeks later on January 4, claiming it didn’t go to the police as it felt both sides had “settled the matter”. Shankar Mishra, who was on the run and hiding in Bengaluru was tracked down by Delhi Police two days later.

On January 6, The DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to the Accountable Manager of Air India, the Director of in-flight Services of Air India, 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. They were given two weeks’ time to submit their reply.

The Tata group-owned airline submitted its reply this morning.

Earlier this month, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran admitted that Air India’s response to the incident should have been “much swifter”. Air India CEO Campbell Wilson also apologised over the incident and said the airline was reviewing its “policy on service of alcohol” on flights