Friday, February 11, 2022

Air India committee members charge-sheeted in bogus sexual harassment case

Thiruvananthapuram: Members of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Air India were charge-sheeted by the Crime Branch of the Kerala police in a fake sexual harassment complaint against an Air India official in Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala gold smuggling case accused in the case.

A bogus sexual harassment petition filed against officer apron of Air India in Thiruvananthapuram, L S Sibu, was the basis for the case. It is said to be for the first time that members of ICC were charge-sheeted in such a case. Senior AI official and an independent lawyer were among the members of the ICC.

The Crime Branch found that a section of officials of Air India, AI-SATS (a joint venture firm of Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services) and members of the internal complaints committee conspired to trap Sibu using a bogus sexual harassment petition in 2015. Sibu had petitioned central agencies against corruption and manipulations in ground handling charges of AI-SATS. That was the provocation, Crime Branch sources said.

The Kerala High Court had earlier quashed the ICC report after it was found that the sexual harassment petition was a bogus one. All the 17 women employees whose signatures were given on the fake petition had disowned it. The ICC was found to have given a report against Sibu by impersonating a bogus complainant. Crime Branch sources said that the five-member ICC was found to have conspired with the others accused, who were AI-SATS employees.

Those charge-sheeted were Benoy Jacob, Swapna Suresh (gold smuggling cases accused), Deepak Anto, Sheeba K K and Neethu Mohan of AI-SATS and Internal Complaints Committee member and AI officials Uma Maheswarai S, Sathya Subramanian, R M S Rajan and Leena Vineetha and independent member of the committee advocate Sreeja Sasidharan. Swapna Suresh was found to have drafted the bogus petition.

11/02/22 Arjun Raghunath/Deccan Herald

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