Air hostess charges baseless: AI

The AI, which investigated the case that took place early this month on the Sharjah-Lucknow-Delhi flight, filed a departmental charge sheet against the four involved crew members including the air hostess. Singh has been charged with entering into an altercation, not leaving the cockpit on the directions of the pilot and having spoken to the media against the company policy.

The infamous incident grabbed headlines as the air hostess filed a police case against Arora of molesting her inside the cockpit as a scuffle took place. AI suspended Arora and Amit Khanna, the flight purser who defended Singh.

The AI said in a press release that its complaints committee on sexual harassment, after preliminary enquiry into the altercation, concluded that the complaint of Komal Singh, was not substantiated.  The release said: “The committee was of the opinion that the allegations of sexually coloured behaviour on the part of Capt Arora were baseless and appeared to be made by Singh as an afterthought, as a planned and rehearsed strategy.”

It added that the altercation that had ensued in the cockpit was a flight safety issue and a charge sheet had been filed against all the four employees involved and a regular departmental enquiry would be conducted and appropriate disciplinary action taken. It said sexual harassment and conduct while on duty, were distinct. The release, however, did not say that the air hostess was found guilty of speaking to the media.

AI has also absolved another commander - in another case of unpublicised alleged sexual harassment – not guilty.

Capt Devi Sharan, hero of the IC-814 hijack of the Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar, was charged by Alliance Air (later merged with AI) air hostess Simrath Chopra in August 2009 of sexual harassment.
The inquiry found that the charges did not fall under the purview of “sexual harassment”.

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