Nation Current Affairs 25 Mar 2017 Assault case: Shiv S ...

Assault case: Shiv Sena MP takes train after 7 airlines ‘ban’ him

Published Mar 25, 2017, 2:26 am IST
Updated Mar 25, 2017, 6:42 am IST
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad and Air India staff Sukumar. (Photos: ANI/Twitter)
 Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad and Air India staff Sukumar. (Photos: ANI/Twitter)

New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was on Friday barred from flying by Air India and six private airlines, a day after he repeatedly hit a 60-year-old staffer of the state carrier at Delhi Airport.

The Delhi police lodged an FIR against him on the basis of a complaint lodged by Air India, and transferred the case to its crime branch. “I dare the Delhi police to arrest me... I will not apologise,” the MP said. The national carrier had also lodged another complaint against him for holding up the aircraft.

Sources said the Federation of India Airlines had taken a “strong view” of the incident and accordingly decided to bar the MP from flying on their network. Jet Airways and three budget carriers — IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir — are FIA members.

Two non-FIA member airlines — AirAsia India and Vistara — also came out in support of the ban, which left Mr Gaikwad “grounded” in the national capital.

The national carrier cancelled Mr Gaikwad’s return ticket to Pune after he boastfully asserted he would board the afternoon flight. Private airline IndiGo followed suit.

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad says will sue Air India staffer
With no travel option available, reports said he was forced to take a train back from Delhi.

But the government said there was no law under which such proscription can be made. Minister of state for law P.P. Chaudhary said if a person committed a crime he can be punished but he cannot be prevented from flying. Earlier in the day, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha reportedly said the legality of the ban needed to be examined. “We have to see if this action of the airlines is within the framework of law,” Mr Sinha said.

As per Schedule VI of Aircraft Rules, 1937, such an offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine not exceeding Rs 5 lakh.

Gaikwad, an MP from Osmanabad, had assaulted R. Sukumar after being unable to travel business class on an all-economy flight. Air India officials claim they had informed the MP’s office, at the time of booking, that the plane was all-economy.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she cannot take suo moto action and that she would take a call only if the case was brought to her notice in the House.

But Gaikwad remained defiant, saying he would not apologise to the Air India staffer and accused him of misbehaviour. Incredibly, he said he would file a defamation case against the Air India CMD and its staffer if they “did not apologise”.

“He (R. Sukumar) should come and apologise... then we will see. A 60-year-old man should also know how to behave,” he said. Gaikwad said he has also filed a police complaint about the alleged misbehavior, and written to the civil aviation ministry.

The Air India staffer, who was hit “25 times” with slippers, said the MP must be punished so that no one takes it as his “birthright” to assault a person.

Meanwhile, Gaikwad boarded Hazrat Nizamuddin-Rajdhani for Mumbai on Thursday. He boarded the train in Delhi but disembarked at Mathura station complaining of chest pain.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi


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