New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday adjourned a hearing on the bail plea of Shankar Mishra, who is accused of urinating on an elderly female co-passenger in a drunken state on a New York-Delhi Air India flight last November, until January 30.
Additional Sessions Judge of the Patiala House Courts, Harjyot Singh Bhalla adjourned the matter after the woman’s advocate Ankur Mahindro informed the court that he has not been handed a copy of the bail plea.
Representing the accused, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said: “If the court is inclined to adjourn it then please grant me interim bail. This is not fair. It can’t be a reason that the investigating officer is not here.”
He further asked the court to list the matter later at 2 p.m. The court however, adjourned it.
Currently in judicial custody, Mishra moved the court on Wednesday seeking bail against Metropolitan Magistrate Komal Garg’s order, who had earlier rejected his plea, saying that the alleged act of accused of relieving himself upon the complainant is “utterly disgusting and repulsive” and the act itself is sufficient to outrage the modesty of a woman.
On January 21, Mishra’s judicial custody was extended by 14 days.
In a recent development, Air India said that the crew made a judgment call to record the matter as a non-reportable in-flight incident for many reasons.
The airline said that the alleged perpetrator was calm, co-operative and professed ignorance of the allegation (of urinating on a co-passenger).
He posed no risk to flight safety in the judgment of the crew, said the airline.
Earlier, in the wake of Air India’s decision to ban Mishra from flying for four months on the basis of the internal committee’s report, his legal counsel had opposed the findings of the committee and said that they are ready to file an appeal.
“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 Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s Civil Aviation Requirements for Unruly Passengers,” Mishra’s lawyers had said.
Aviation regulator DGCA had also imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakhs on Air India and suspended the license of pilot-in-command for three months in connection with the Air India urination case.
Moreover, the regulator had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakhs on Director, inflight services of Air India for failing to discharge her duties on November 26, 2022.
Meanwhile, the flag carrier has also banned Mishra for four months on the basis of a report by the internal committee.
After Mishra claimed that the complainant had soiled her own seat, the latter rubbished the allegation saying that it was “completely false and concocted”.
On January 13, Mishra told the court that he was not the accused. “There must be someone else who peed or it must be her who urinated,” he had said.
He further claimed that the woman was suffering from some prostate-related disease.
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