Charges have been framed against two men arrested in connection with the finding of pebbles and gravel in the gearbox of the helicopter owned by industrialist Anil Ambani.
On Tuesday, the special Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Civil Aviation (SUSCCA) Act court charged Uday Warekar (32) and Palraj Thevar (38) under Sections 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
If convicted under this Act, they could face life imprisonment and fine. “The court charged Warekar and Thevar under the SUSCCA Act for causing damage to the aircraft… to render it incapable of flight or endanger its safety in flight,” said special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat. Warekar and Thevar pleaded not guilty. “The trial will commence from August 25,” said Gharat.
Warekar and Thever were arrested on May 4, 2009. The Crime Branch alleged that Warekar had dropped the pebbles and gravel into the helicopter’s gearbox while Thever helped him. Though the sessions court had rejected their bail application, the Bombay High Court had granted them bail on November 10, 2009.
Police had claimed that the incident was a fallout of the dispute between the Airworks management and the union of the 52 non-technical staff (Maharashtra General Kamgar Mahasangh), which has been on since 1995.