Air India case: Shankar Mishra takes U-turn in court, says he didnt urinate on woman

The counsel for the accused made the submission before additional sessions judge Harjyot Singh Bhalla

NEW DELHI: Shankar Mishra, the man accused of urinating on an elderly woman co-passenger on an Air India flight, told a Delhi court on Friday he did not commit the offensive act and it seems she herself urinated as she was suffering from some disease.

The claim by his lawyer, made for the first time since the sordid event unfolded on an Air India New York-New Delhi flight on November 26 last year, flies in the face of denunciations of the accused by some of the co-passengers and even a string of text message exchanges he had with the victim woman, which suggested the unsavoury incident indeed took place.

The counsel for the accused made the submission before additional sessions judge Harjyot Singh Bhalla while arguing against a Delhi police petition seeking revision of an order passed by a magistrate court denying police his custodial interrogation.

The judge disposed of the application, saying the submissions made before him did not seem to have been made in front of the metropolitan magistrate. He said police can approach the magisterial court with its application afresh.

"I'm not the accused. There must be someone else. It seems she herself urinated. She was suffering from some disease related to the prostate, which several "kathak dancers" seem to suffer from. It was not him. The seating system was such that no one could go to her seat

"Her seat could only be approached from behind, and in any case, the urine could not reach the seat's front area. Also, the passenger
sitting behind the complainant did not make any such complaint," the defence advocate told the judge.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Mishra, accused the police and the press of turning the case into a joke.

"The first complaint was made by the complainant a day after the incident. What was the claim? To refund. That was done by the airline. The police and the press have turned this case into a joke... Was this case so big, was it a murder case that they reached Bangalore to arrest me and called me an absconder. He was removed from his job," the defence counsel said.

Arguing for fresh custody of the accused, the prosecutor told the court that Mr Mishra's interrogation was required to establish the sequence of events.

The judge, however, said whatever submission he was making was not dealt with by the metropolitan magistrate. Even otherwise, if additional facts are raised, the application can be moved before the magistrate, the court said.

"With these, the application is disposed of. The department can approach metropolitan magistrate afresh with these grounds if it wishes so," the judge said.

Earlier during the arguments, the judge asked the police if the complainant had given any statement that there was a prior altercation or enmity with the accused. The prosecution replied in the negative.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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