The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the 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.
Kathpalia had operated a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru without undergoing the mandatory pre-flight breath analyser test, the police said.
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His plea was opposed by the police, 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.
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, as per the complaint filed by the Indian Pilots Association on January 19 last year.
Further, he even refused to undergo a similar test at Bengaluru.
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 PTI inputs)