AI pilots get clean chit in harassment case

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 17:25

New Delhi: Giving clean chit to Air India
pilots in the Komal Singh sexual harassment case, the National
Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday said the air hostess was not molested but only pushed during a mid-air scuffle on an
international flight.

"There is no sexual harassment by the commander of Komal
Singh," NCW member Wansuk Syiem, who was a part of the probe
committee, said.

"It is just a misbehaviour from both sides. I must say
some arguments were there, which caused this physical push by
the commander to her," she said.

Syiem said in the report, which has been submitted last
night, the committee has written that during the flight, the
captain had called the purser Amit Khanna inside the cockpit
and an argument ensued.

"It was at this time that Singh also entered the cockpit
and she was pushed," the NCW member said.

Singh sent her complaint first to NCW through an email on
October 5 and then went to the Commission to file a written
complaint.

She had alleged that she was molested by Captain Ranbir
Arora and his co-pilot Aditya Chopra of Flight IC-884 on a
Sharjah-New Delhi flight on October 3.

There was a scuffle involving Komal, her friend Khanna
and the pilots, which raised concerns over the conduct of the
crew and flight safety. There were 106 persons on board on
that flight.

Earlier, a five-member enquiry committee of Air India,
which went into her complaint about the incident, had
concluded that whatever complaint air hostess Komal Singh has
made regarding sexual harassment "is an after-thought".

The committee was set up on October 6 to investigate
the matter.

Air India had then suspended Khanna and Chopra, pending
enquiry. Komal and the Commander of the flight, Capt Ranbir
Arora, were taken off duty to assist in the probe.

The enquiry committee chargesheeted Komal for allegedly
violating conduct rules, not complying with the company policy
and speaking to the media, insubordination and disobeying
seniors.

The incident was seen as an act of indiscipline on the
part of the air hostess and flight purser, who had barged into
the cockpit.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 17:25

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