close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Devendra Fadnavis threatens 'criminal defamation' over reports of him delaying AI flight

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday slammed reports saying that he had delayed an Air India flight to the United States. Calling the reports misleading, he said that he would initiate proceedings of criminal defamation once he was back in India.


Devendra Fadnavis threatens 'criminal defamation' over reports of him delaying AI flight

Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday slammed reports saying that he had delayed an Air India flight to the United States. Calling the reports misleading, he said that he would initiate proceedings of criminal defamation once he was back in India.

Fadnavis posted on the micro-blogging website Twitter: “I reiterate, the reports of me delaying flight are misleading. In fact when I'd already boarded how can I say I won't travel without delegation? If at all any report that has been submitted, states that I refused to travel without my delegation then it is a blatant lie because passengers sitting besides and behind me are witness that I was sitting quietly waiting for departure. Not even once I asked to offload me.”

In another post he wrote: “Enough is enough. Once I'm back to India I will initiate proceedings of criminal defamation.”

PMO seeks report on AI flight problems because of ministers

The Prime Minister's Office today sought a report from Civil Aviation Ministry on allegations that Union Minister Kirren Rijiju and Fadnavis had caused inconvenience to passengers of Air India owing to their VIP status.

The official spokesman tweeted that PMO has asked "Ministry of Civil Aviation for a report on delay in Air India flights on account of VIP travels in the recent past".

The Civil Aviation Ministry, in turn, has sought a report from Air India on the two incidents.

"We are awaiting reports on the (two) incidents from Air India," Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said, adding it would take a call on the matter after receiving the reports.

The development came after reports surfaced about inconvenience caused to passengers of two flights of Air India since June 24 because of Rijiju and Fadnavis.

A media report surfaced yesterday that on June 24, three members of a family, including a child, were offloaded from Leh-Delhi Air India flight at Leh to accommodate Rijiju along with Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and an aide. This also led to some delay in the flight.

Rijiju had claimed it was not a "delay" as the departure of the flight was advanced due to technical reasons, as per PTI.

Another report a few days back said that an Air India flight to Newark from Mumbai was delayed by nearly an hour on June 29 after it was reported that an aide of Fadnavis travelling with him had not carried his passport with valid US visa. Principal Secretary Pravin Pardeshi was cleared at the check-in but was held back before boarding as the passport he was carrying did not have the valid visa. 

Rijiju apologises over flight issue

Meanwhile, Rijiju today tendered an apology even as he insisted that he was not aware of some others not being allowed to board.

"Air India, being a government PSU, we as ministers, have the moral responsibility if any passenger has undergone any inconvenience. We must say sorry to them on behalf of the government and ensure that such incidents do not occur in future," he told PTI over phone from Darjeeling.

The Minister of State for Home said he was not aware if any passenger was not allowed to board the flight due to the delayed arrival in the terminal.

"The de-boarding of three passengers was never informed to me and this step would have never been appreciated if brought to the notice on the same day," he said.

Rijiju said the original schedule departure time of the flight AI-446 was 1115 hours on June 24 and boarding time was 1045 hours.

Boarding card of Nirmal Singh, who was accompanying Rijiju, is a "proof", he said.

The Union Minister said as per the original programme, he was supposed to take a BSF helicopter from Leh to Jammu and from there to travel by normal flight to reach Delhi.

"Because of the bad weather, the BSF helicopter could not take off from Jammu and Leh administration was asked to book a ticket in last flight from Leh to Delhi. This is normal routine arrangements in bad weather or kind of situations for VIPs protocol," he said.

Rijiju said a complaint has been lodged by Singh to the Civil Aviation Minister regarding the advancement and "misbehaviour" of the Air India pilot.

The Minister said his boarding pass was not retained for evidence because he never knew that it would required for this day. "But the Deputy Chief Minister kept as a record to produce as evidence for the complaint," he said. 

Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju tenders apology over inconvenience caused to passengers

On the other hand, Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today tendered an apology on the whole matter saying that such "indefensible" incidents should never have happened.

However, Raju also said that the incident is "too small" for the Prime Minister's Office to step-in.

"Whatever has happened should not have happened... I need to get to the truth... As Civil Aviation minister I apologise (for the inconvenience caused to the passengers)," Raju told reporters, as per PTI.

Raju said his Ministry was getting all the facts about the two incidents. "I need to get to the truth, and I will do my duty," he added.

The Minister said that the Ministry would submit a report to the PMO, which has sought details on "delay in Air India flights on account of VIP travels in the recent past".

(With PTI inputs)
 

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video

DNA EXCLUSIVES

After 'suit boot ki sarkar' and Rohith Vemula, economy is PM Narendra Modi's third and biggest challenge

Narendra Modi's fear made Dawood change hideouts four times since 2014, reveals Iqbal Kaskar

'AAP will get 10 MLAs': Best Twitter reactions to Arvind Kejriwal meeting Kamal Haasan

The US-N Korea stand-off revives nuclear holocaust fears

DNA Edit: GDP growth pangs