American Airlines handed over Aryan Vohra, 21, to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after he allegedly urinated on a male passenger on a flight from New York to Delhi on Saturday. The Delhi Police said they had filed a case against him.
The airline cancelled his bookings, including his return flight, and is conducting an inquiry that could even result in a lifetime ban. Mr. Vohra was heavily intoxicated and allegedly misbehaved with a woman co-passenger who complained that he was leaning on her; he nearly sat on an infant on a different seat before the mother pushed him away, according to the official complaint filed by the airline to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, viewed by The Hindu. He then urinated on a U.S. national, Albert Ram Sutton, who was asleep on seat 15G.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Devesh Kumar Mahla said the accused, a resident of Defence Colony, was released after interrogation. He has not been arrested since the inquiry has just begun.
The police registered a case under Sections 510 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 22 and 23 of The Aircraft Rules
Nearly six hours into the flight, which took off from New York at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Mr. Vohra walked to the first-class section looking for the restroom and appeared to be “disoriented”, following which the crew directed him to the business class lavatory but instead he emptied his bladder on a co-traveller.
“Mr. Sutton called the flight attendants to complain about the incident who then immediately intervened and moved Mr. Vohra back to his seat (24B) to which he was restricted for the remainder of the flight,” the complaint reads.
The crew then brought the incident to the notice of the Captain, who sent a message requesting law enforcement to meet the flight on arrival so that they could hand over the passenger.
The complaint says that Mr. Vohra continued to be in an intoxicated state at the time of the handover to the CISF — a total of 14 hours after it departed from New York.
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According to another complaint filed before the Station House Officer, Delhi Police, the airline’s chief security officer wrote that the offender refused to listen to crew instructions, was repeatedly arguing with them, was unwilling to be seated and was “continuously endangering the safety of the crew and the aircraft”.
A senior DGCA official told The Hindu that the airline took timely action against the offender, and has also informed the regulator that it has initiated an internal inquiry under the Civil Aviation Requirements (or DGCA’s rules) on dealing with unruly passengers, according to which a passenger can be banned for three months to a lifetime depending on the severity of the offence. Such an inquiry could also lead to the airline recommending other carriers to ban the offender from their flights.