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HC issues notice to Delhi police on AI pilot Kathpalia's anticipatory bail plea

Delhi Police opposed his plea saying it was not a normal case of forgery and the consequences were grave.

HC issues notice to Delhi police on AI pilot Kathpalia's anticipatory bail plea

The Delhi High Court sought response of police on an anticipatory bail plea of Air India pilot Captain Arvind Kathpalia in a case of alleged violation of aircraft rules and tampering with evidence.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to Delhi Police on the plea of Kathpalia, who was executive director (operations) of Air India, and listed the matter for further hearing on December 20.

According to the police, Kathpalia had operated a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru without undergoing the mandatory pre-flight breath analyser test.

Delhi Police opposed his plea saying it was not a normal case of forgery and the consequences were grave.

A trial court had earlier directed the police to lodge an FIR against him for alleged violation of aircraft rules, tampering with evidence and intimidating a doctor working with Air India in January last year.

The court had also directed that Lalit Gupta, Joint Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), be named as an accused in the FIR for allegedly covering up the actions of Kathpalia.

The court had also taken on record an action taken report (ATR) filed by Delhi Police and said 'prima facie' cognizable offences were made out which required detailed examination and collection of evidence.

According to the complaint filed by the Indian Pilots Association on January 19 last year, Kathpalia was scheduled to operate a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru and he proceeded to operate the flight without undergoing the mandatory pre-fight breath and analyser test.

Further, even at Bengaluru he refused to undergo a similar test.

Later, on his arrival in New Delhi, he allegedly went to pre-flight medical examination room and made a false entry in the pre-flight breath analyzer examination register for the flight he had operated.

Kathpalia also issued threats and intimidated Nitin Seth, DGCA's doctor on duty, with a view to coerce him to retract his statement given in inquiry conducted by the DGCA where he had alleged that the Captain had manipulated the record in the register.

It was also alleged that there was violation of aircraft rules apart from tampering of evidence, coercive intimidation.

(With inputs from agencies.)



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