Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Only Indian flight crew asked to deposit passports in Saudi Arabia: Delhi High Court told

New Delhi: A Jet Airways pilot today told the Delhi High Court that the flight crew of Indian airliners are made to deposit their passports with Saudi immigration authorities while on layover there, even as this is not a requirement for the staff of other foreign airlines.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the central government to consider the plea as a representation and if expedient to take it up with the foreign nation, after the pilot's lawyer claimed that only the crew of Indian airliners were subjected to this conduct.

The lawyer told the court that the Indian flight crew are given only photocopies of their travel documents.

The pilot had moved the court as he apprehended he might face the same treatment that was given to an Air India crew in July this year as they only had photocopies of their travel papers.

Four crew members of Air India were detained by the Saudi Arabia police on July 26 as they could not show them the original copies of their passport.

According to Air India, the passports of the crew were deposited with the immigration office at Jeddah, which had issued them a certificate.

The certificate was deposited at their hotel, as is the practice, and a photocopy was kept with them, the airline had said in a statement after the incident.

According to news reports, the AI crew members were out for dinner a day after their flight from Mumbai landed in Jeddah when a police team approached them to check their travel papers.

When the airline staff failed to provide the original documents they were put in a police van and their phones confiscated, the news reports said.

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18/12/17 PTI/New Indian Express