‘Mid-air’ molestation case: SC halts proceedings

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 02, 2014 08:51 IST

Striking a note of caution against “young bloods” fighting mid-air, the Supreme Court on Monday halted proceedings in a molestation case filed by an air-hostess against her co-pilot, indicating the two should sort it out amicably.

Taking note of the accused Manoj’s (name changed) plea to end the case against him, a bench sought to know whether the complainant and the Delhi police had any objections to the petition. But before it issued notices to them, the bench advised Manoj’s lawyer Manjeet Ahluwalia that the matter should be settled and not contested.

“Why do you people fight in the air? You are the young blood and both, air-hostess and the pilot have to fly together. If you both fight then who will look after the safety of the passengers?” the bench said.

According to Ahluwalia, his client has been given a clean chit by three different committees — the NCW, internal disciplinary committee and the sexual harassment committee set-up under the Vishaka guidelines — constituted to look into the allegations. The main accused, the pilot of the flight, was found indicted of the charges. Reports of all the three committees have been placed before the SC.

The trial in the case, registered at the Indira Gandhi International airport on October 3, 2009, is pending before a Dwarka district court. Charges are yet to be framed in the case.

According to the FIR, the incident took place in the Indian Airlines flight, flying from Sharjah to Delhi. According to the complainant the flight commander and co-pilot behaved indecently with her and pushed her out of the cockpit.

In his defence Manoj had said that the air-hostess and a steward had forcibly entered the cock-pit, without the requisite permission. Despite warnings the two refused to leave. As a result she had to be pushed out. Manoj has denied that he pushed her.

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