The Delhi High court on Wednesday granted time to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to place on record the documents related to the constitution of the appellate Committee looking into the appeals of unruly Air passengers.
A petition has been moved by Shankar Shyamnaval Mishra seeking a direction to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to constitute an appellate committee in accordance with DGCA CAR for Unruly Passengers. He is accused of urinating on a woman on a flight in November. An FIR was registered and he was arrested. Later, he was granted bail by the court.
He has been banned from travelling for four months. He has challenged the order passed by the Internal Inquiry Committee.
Justice Prathiba M Singh granted time to the counsel for DGCA to place on record the constitution of appellate Committee. The matter has been listed on March 23.
The counsel submitted before the court that he believe that there is an appellate committee under the retired judge of the high court.
The counsel sought time to place on record the constitution and urged to have the matter in a week’s time.
The Petitioner has moved a petition through advocate Akshat Bajpai and stated that he was travelling in business class on Air India Flight on November 26, 2022, where during the duration of the flight, certain unsubstantiated and false allegations were made against him by a co-passenger.
The said co-passenger had registered a complaint with the Airsewa grievance portal on December 20, 2022, the petition stated.
In pursuance of the complaint received on December 20, 2022, Air India constituted an Internal Inquiry Committee in accordance with the DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for Handling unruly passengers to determine whether the Petitioner should be designated to be an unruly passenger under CAR and for what duration should the Petitioner be banned from flying, it added.
The petitioner was issued a notice by the Inquiry Committee on December 24, 2022, and after conducting meetings on issued an order designating him to be an unruly passenger and banning him from flying for 4 months, the petition submitted.
The said order suffers from factual and legal infirmities as the order completely misunderstands the physical layout of the aircraft and premises its findings on the basis of this erroneous understanding of the aircraft, it added.
It is submitted that under Rule 8.5 of CAR, a person aggrieved by an order of the Inquiry Committee may prefer an appeal within 60 days of the order before an Appellate Committee constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The Petitioner, being aggrieved by the order of 18.01.2023 on grounds of factual and legal infirmities seeks to prefer an appeal against the said order and has written emails to the DGCA on 19.01.2023 and to the Ministry of Civil
Aviation on 20.02.2023, 27.02.2023 and 06.03.2023, the plea stated.
However, no such committee has been constituted as of the date of filing this Writ Petition, it stated.
It is an established position of law that a statutory right of appeal is a vested right and the non-constitution of the Appellate Committee by the Ministry of Civil Aviation is eroding the Petitioner’s right to exhaust all his remedies available unto him as per the due procedure established by law, the petition said.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s inaction is directly infringing the Petitioner’s rights under Article 21 of the Constitution, it contended.