Shankar Mishra's lawyers say there was no 9B seat, Air India 'imagining' things
Shankar Mishra's lawyers said Air India's internal report is based on an “incorrect understanding” of the layout of the aircraft. As they could not explain how Shankar Mishra could have urinated on 9A seat without affecting the person sitting on the 9C seat, they imagined he stood at the 9B seat, which does not exist in the aircraft, the lawyers said.
In the Air India urination case in which the airline has now been fined ₹30 lakh, accused Shankar Mishra's lawyers on Friday said Air India in its 'faulty' report made up things as they could not find an "adequate explanation" as to how Shankar Mishra could have urinated on the complainant sitting on the 9A seat. The airline assumed there was a seat 9B in the business class in the aircraft and imagined that Shankar Mishra could have stood at the "imaginary" seat and urinated on the9A seat. "However, there is no seat 9B in the business class on the aircraft -- only seats 9A and 9C," a statement issued by Shankar Mishra's lawyers said.
On Thursday, Air India submitted its internal committee report and banned Shankar Mishra from flying on Air India for four months. In response to the ban, Shankar Mishra's lawyers said the report is based on an incorrect understanding of the layout of the aircraft. The lawyers also expressed surprise that the committee which made the report had two aviation experts.
"When the Committee could not find an adequate explanation as to how the accused could have urinated on the complainant sitting on seat 9A without also affecting the passenger on Seat 9C, it has erroneously gone on to assume that there was a seat 9B in the business class in the aircraft and imagined that the accused could have stood at this imaginary seat and urinated on the complainant on seat 9A. However, there is no seat 9B in the business class on the craft - only seats 9A and 9C," the statement said.
Shankar Mishra was arrested on January 4 by the Delhi Police in the Air India urination case which came to light almost a month after it took place after the elderly women passenger complained to Air India. The case now rests with the court which also sought a layout of the aircraft as Shankar Mishra's lawyers contested that it was not possible for the accused to urinate on the 9A seat where the complainant was sitting without affecting her co-passenger on the 9C seat.
In the course of the hearing of the case, Shankar Mishra's lawyers put forth another theory that the complainant urinated herself -- a comment that drew condemnation.
Air India's internal report on Shankar Mishra case
In the internal report, Air India held Shankar Mishra guilty and identified him as an "unruly passenger". ".. the Committee reaches to an irresistible conclusion that the allegations made against the respondent-passenger in the 'proforma for reporting of unruly/disruptive passenger'.. stand established and accordingly the Committee holds that the respondent-passenger Shri Shankar Shyamnaval Mishra is squarely covered under the definition of 'unruly passenger' as defined in paragraph 3.1 of the CAR. The respondent-passenger Shri Shankar Shyamnaval Mishra is accordingly put in 'NO Fly List'," the report said.
Air India taken to task
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday imposed a fine of ₹30 lakh on Air India for failing to comply with rules in connection with the Shankar Mishra case. A penalty of ₹3 lakh has been slapped on the director of the inflight services. The commander of the flight has been suspended for three months for failing in his duty.
(With inputs from agencies, Bureau)