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HC seeks police reply on bail plea of AI pilot

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response of city police on an anticipatory bail plea of Air India pilot Captain Arvind Kathpalia in a case of alleged violation of aircraft rules and tampering with evidence.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to the police on the plea of Mr. Kathpalia, who was executive director (operations) of Air India.

A trial court had earlier directed the police to lodge an FIR against him for alleged violation of aircraft rules, tampering with evidence and intimidating an Air India doctor, coercing him to retract his statement given in an inquiry, in January 2017.

The police had said that Mr. Kathpalia had operated a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru without undergoing the mandatory pre-flight breath analyser test.

The complaint filed by the Indian Pilots Association on January 19, 2017, had stated the same violation by Mr. Kathpalia. Mr. Kathpalia was scheduled to operate a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru and he proceeded to operate the flight without undergoing the mandatory pre-fight breath and analyser test.

Further, even at Bengaluru he had refused to undergo a similar test.

Later, on his arrival in New Delhi, he allegedly went to pre-flight medical examination room and made a false entry in the pre-flight breath analyser examination register for the flight he had operated.

Kathpalia also issued threats and intimidated Nitin Seth, DGCA’s doctor on duty, with a view to coerce him to retract his statement given in inquiry conducted by the DGCA where he had alleged that the Captain had manipulated the record in the register.

It was also alleged that there was violation of aircraft rules apart from tampering of evidence, coercive intimidation.

The HC has listed the matter for further hearing on December 20.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:52:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hc-seeks-police-reply-on-bail-plea-of-ai-pilot/article25736507.ece

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