“An independent three-member internal committee under the chairmanship of a 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 (CAR). The passenger has already been put on the airline’s ‘No Fly List’,” an Air India spokesperson said.
The urinating incident happened on November 26, 2022, in the business class of a New York-Delhi flight when Mishra allegedly relieved himself on a 70-year-old co-passenger in an inebriated condition.
After the matter came to light Air India had constituted an internal committee to look into the lapses by the crew. Sources said that the airline submitted the internal report on Thursday.
The Air India spokesman said they shared a copy of the internal committee report with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “Air India will also be intimating other airlines operating in the country about this,” the spokesperson said.
The carrier had earlier announced a month’s ban on Mishra after incident came to light, saying an airline can only ban an unruly passenger for 30 days unilaterally, before consulting the civil aviation ministry. “As a first step, Air India has banned the passenger for 30 days, the maximum it is permitted to unilaterally do so, and reported the matter to the DGCA for further action,” the airline had said.
It had also de-rostered four cabin crew members and a pilot of the New York-Delhi AI 102 flight after the DGCA issued show-cause notices to the carrier, its director of in-flight services and the crew that had operated the international flight.
After TOI carried a report on the incident, Delhi Police registered a First Information Report against Mishra on January 4 under sections 354, 509 and 510 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act on the basis of a complaint of the woman to Air India. He was arrested from Bengaluru on January 6, 2023, and is currently in judicial custody after a Delhi court denied him bail last week.
Mishra, however, in a counter has said that the 70-year-old woman urinated on herself. “I did not urinate on the complainant. The complainant woman’s seat was blocked. The woman has a problem of incontinence because she is a Kathak dancer and 80 per cent of dancers face this issue,” he had said in his defence in the court.
The complainant in the Air India “urination” case has rubbished claims made by the accused Shankar Mishra, saying it is being done with the intent to spread misinformation and further harassment.
Mishra, who was a vice-president at US-based financial services company Wells Fargo, has also been terminated from the firm. “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and we find these allegations deeply disturbing. This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo,” the company had said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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