The Bombay high court on Friday has directed the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) to verify the authenticity of educational certificates of commercial pilots before issuing flying licences.
A division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Dr Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Dr Manisha Kanagali, alleging that many pilots have obtained their commercial licences for flying on the basis of fake educational degrees.
The petitioner earlier sought suspension of her brother’s license, who has been a captain with Air India for the past 18 years. The PIL states that his class 12 certificates are fake and forged from a Bihar university. Although he was suspended by the airlines in June 2015, the petition now urges for the cancellation of his flying license.
The advocate appearing for Kanagali said that there are many pilots who have fake certificates and degrees and are suspended by their airlines but because their licences are not cancelled, they join other airlines.
The court said the matter is quite serious and the DGCA should verify the authenticity of educational certificates of all those who seek commercial flying licences. The court also said that the issue concerns the safety of people who travel by air and adjourned the matter for two weeks.