Pilots of four airlines land in trouble for ‘abusing’ DGCA official in a WhatsApp group
The pilots and the aviation regulator were at loggerheads over a proposal to increase the notice period to be served by the former after resignation from six months to one year.delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2017 18:37 IST
A police complaint has been filed against pilots of four airlines for allegedly abusing a senior official of the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) on WhatsApp.
The pilots and DGCA, the aviation regulator, were at loggerheads over a proposal to increase the notice period to be served after resignation from six months to one year.
A communication sent to the aviation watchdog opposing the proposal to increase the notice period for pilots to one year, in which the DGCA official’s designation was written incorrectly, triggered the fresh round of rift.
In a mail, the DGCA official directed the airlines to check the “mental alertness of these pilots” since “they could not even quote a designation properly”.
On Monday, some pilots reportedly abused DGCA’s joint director general Lalit Gupta in a WhatsApp group.
“What would you do if they insult your mother and sister? Abusing my family members is not tolerable and that is why I have filed a police complaint,” Gupta said.
Chinmoy Biswal, additional deputy commissioner of police (south), confirmed receiving a complaint against 34 pilots. He said over a dozen pilots, who were named in the complaint, were called to record their versions.
“We are examining the complaint. So far, no FIR has been registered and nobody has been arrested. The pilots were allowed to go after recording their statement,” said Biswal.
Biswal said that their mobiles phones were examined and returned. The remaining pilots named in the complaint have been asked to appear before the police.
Jet Airways confirmed that a few of its cockpit crew were called to record their statements.
“The airline is extending its full cooperation to the authorities. The matter is under investigation and we are, therefore, unable to comment further. Jet Airways will take appropriate measures where necessary, as per the company policy and in compliance with local law,” said an airline spokesperson.
Spicejet said no pilot from its airline has written any derogatory or obscene message against any DGCA official.
“One of our pilots had just forwarded some WhatsApp messages to a few friends and colleagues,” said the airline spokesperson.
Apart from these two, pilots from Indigo and Go Air also reportedly shared some messages, abusing Gupta.
“We are looking into the charges and extending full cooperation to DGCA in this matter. Based on the findings of our internal enquiry, we will take appropriate action,” said an Indigo spokesperson.
Pilot unions condemned the move.