Air India ‘urination’ case: DGCA slaps Rs 30 lakh penalty on airline, Shankar Mishra banned for 4 months

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Friday imposed a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on Air India in connection with an incident in which a passenger named Shankar Mishra allegedly urinated on an elderly female co-passenger in November last year.

The watchdog also suspended the license of the pilot-in-command of the New York-Delhi flight and slapped a fine of 3 lakh on Air India’s Director of in-flight services for failing to discharge her duties, according to a statement.

According to news agency PTI, this was the first time that DGCA penalised an airline for unruly passenger behaviour onboard a flight. In a statement, an Air India spokesperson said it is in receipt of the DGCA order and studying it.


“We respectfully acknowledge the gaps in our reporting and are taking relevant steps to ensure that the same are addressed. We are also strengthening our crews’ awareness of and compliance with policies on the handling of incidents involving unruly passengers,” the airline spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI.

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The watchdog issued showcause notices to Air India’s Accountable Manager, Director in-flight services, 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.

Air India bans Shankar Mishra for four months

On Thursday, Air India banned Shankar Mishra from its flights for a duration of four months. This four-month ban is applicable from January 18 and is over and above the one-month ban implemented by the airline on December 20.

In its statement Air India said, “The independent three-member Internal Committee, under the Chairmanship of the former District Judge, has concluded that Shankar Mishra is covered under the definition of ‘unruly passenger’, and is banned from flying for a period of four months as per the relevant provisions of the Civil Aviation Requirements”.

The airline said it has shared a copy of the Internal Committee report with the DGCA and will also be intimating other airlines operating in the country.

‘Disagree with findings’, say Shankar Mishra’s lawyers

A day after the ban was imposed on Mishra, 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, news agency ANI reported.

Advocates Ishanee Sharma and Akshat Bajpai, representing Mishra said, “We respect the authority and mandate of the Internal Inquiry Committee, we disagree with their findings and are already in the process of appealing this decision in accordance with the DGCA CAR for Unruly Passengers.”

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