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Man who peed on Air India co-passenger held, sent to 14-day custody

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: January 07, 2023 23:21 IST
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A Delhi court on Saturday sent Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on a woman co-passenger on an Air India flight, to judicial remand for 14 days while rejecting a plea by police for his custody.

IMAGE: Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on a woman passenger on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi, being taken away by the police from the DCP office at IGI Airport in New Delhi, on Saturday, January 7, 2023. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Delhi Police arrested Mishra from Bengaluru on Saturday.

The police sought Mishra's remand for three days for custodial interrogation on the grounds that he was required to be identified by three cabin crew members, two captains and other co-passengers, who were also to be examined.


Metropolitan Magistrate Anamika passed the order to send Mishra to judicial remand, noting that his custody was not needed for recording the statements of other witnesses, including cabin crew and co-passengers, and they can be quizzed in his absence.

"Just because there's public pressure, don't do this. Go by the law," the magistrate said.

The court, meanwhile, posted for January 11 the consideration of the bail application of the accused.

"Considering all the reasons stated above... PC is not required for recording the statement of witnesses. They can be interrogated in his absence. Statements can be recorded, and there is no requirement of his PC," the court said.

It noted that on the basis of the evidence, the accused prima facie did not cooperate in the investigation.

"Perusal of records shows that the accused was deliberately avoiding joining of investigation. In order to make further investigation, recording of statements of crew members, recording statements, his custody is not required," the magistrate said.

During the arguments, the court asked the police why it required his custody.

"He is not required for others' questioning, TIP (Test Identification Parade). Everything is known? Why his custody is required? Nobody else is to be arrested. No ground of PC," the judge said.

"He is not required for others' questioning, TIP (Test Identification Parade). Everything is known. Why his custody is required? Nobody else is to be arrested. There is no ground for PC," the court said.

On the court's query whether the police were expecting any co-accused in the case, the agency submitted that the cabin crew did not handle the situation and that they were also 'complicit in the alleged offence'.

Custodial interrogation is required for his identification by three cabin crews, two captains, and other co-passengers, who are also to be examined, police told the court.

Advocate Manu Sharma, appearing for the accused, opposed the police plea, saying, "A lot of noise has been made. Even if the incident is taken as true, all the offences my client is accused of are bailable."

The police, meanwhile, refused to hand over a copy of the first information report (FIR) to an advocate appearing for the complainant, saying the 'case has been so viral, we do not want to give a copy of the complaint to anyone but complainant'.

After the judge passed the order, the counsel for the accused sought bail, contending that since he was not required for interrogation, there was no need to keep him in custody.

The metropolitan magistrate said the bail application will be considered on January 11.

Earlier on Saturday, officials said Mishra was traced to Bengaluru through technical surveillance.

Mishra allegedly urinated on the woman, a senior citizen, in an inebriated condition in the business class of the Air India flight from New York to Delhi on November 26 last year.

Bengaluru police assisted Delhi police in arresting Mishra from Sanjay Nagar area in the city.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Airport) Ravi Kumar Singh said, "Accused Shankar Mishra in IGIA case has been arrested from Bengaluru by a Delhi Police team. He has been brought to Delhi and further investigation into the case is in progress."

The accused was staying at his sister's house in Sanjay Nagar, Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru police assisted the Delhi Police team in arresting him, a Bengaluru police official said.

Mishra had switched off his mobile phone on January 3 and his last location was traced to Bengaluru, Delhi Police officials said.

He used to take a taxi to travel in Bengaluru. His travel history was extracted and the route he used to take to reach his office was followed, they said.

Late on Friday night, Mishra's location was traced to Mysuru. By the time the Delhi Police team reached there, he had alighted from the taxi. The taxi driver was questioned, which yielded some leads, they said.

Mishra often stayed at the place from where he was arrested, the police said.

According to the FIR, shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off on board AI 102 on November 26, 2022, the inebriated male passenger seated in business class seat 8A walked to the elderly woman's seat, unzipped his pants and urinated on her.

The case has been filed under Sections 294 (obscene act in public place), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as under Aircraft Rules.

According to the FIR, the accused begged the woman not to lodge a complaint against him, saying he was a family man and did not wish his wife and child to be affected by the incident.

The Delhi Police has asked Air India staff, including the pilot and co-pilot of the New York-Delhi flight, to appear before it on Saturday, sources had said.

Summons were issued to the staff for Friday but they did not appear before the police, they said.

A lookout circular had been issued against Mishra to prevent him from fleeing the country.

Mishra, who was working with US multinational firm Wells Fargo in India, was sacked on Friday.

Tata Group-owned Air India CEO Campbell Wilson on Saturday apologised for the incident and said four cabin crew and a pilot have been de-rostered and the airline is reviewing its 'policy on service of alcohol in flight'.


3 crew members join probe at IGI Airport police station

Meanwhile, three Air India crew members on Saturday joined the investigation at the Indira Gandhi International Airport police station in New Delhi, in connection with the case, officials said.

A senior police officer said nine crew members were called, out of whom three recorded their statements on Saturday morning.

Their statements will help police to establish the sequence of the alleged event that took place on the flight last November, official said.

They were called on Friday, but as they were not available in Delhi, police asked them to join the probe on Saturday.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.