Deputy inspector general of CBI Pravin Salunkhe has moved the Maharashtra state consumer dispute redressal commission against national carrier Air India demanding compensation of Rs35 lakh for inhuman treatment and for deploying an unqualified pilot, which led to him and 15 IPS officers being stranded on the airplane for 22 hours.
Acting on the complaint, the commission on Friday issued a notice to Air India to present its side of the story.
Salunkhe’s complaint says he was to attend a two-week police programme at Cambridge University in UK organised by the Indian ministry of home affairs (MHA). He boarded an Air India flight on October 15, booking for which was made by the MHA. It was to land at Heathrow airport at 7am the next day.
“However, the pilot made an announcement that because of the weather, the flight will instead land at Gatwick airport, about 50 miles away,” Salunkhe’s complaint says. There were around 190 passengers on board, which included senior citizens, women and children, along with 15 IPS officials.
When the passengers made enquiries at Gatwick, they found out one of the pilots did not have CAT-level landing experience, and, hence, the flight could not land at Heathrow.
Salunkhe’s complaint says passengers were made to sit in the plane without food and water for 22 hours, and since his medicines were in the luggage, he could not take them either.
“The airline authorities failed to do their duty and this was gross violation of basic human rights and conditions,” the complaint says. It adds that instead of handling the situation in a humane manner, the airline called the police to tackle the angry passengers.