Wednesday, January 11, 2023

‘Not a lustful man’: Air India ‘pee-gate’ accused Shankar Mishra 'unzips' again in bail plea

Shankar Mishra, the man who has been accused of urinating on a woman co-passenger on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi in November last year, in his bail plea told a Delhi court on Wednesday that he couldn't control his drink on the flight but his intentions were not "sexual" in nature. In a description of the bizarre incident, Mishra's lawyer Manu Sharma said that Shankar Mishra couldn't control his drink on the flight but the "unzipping incident was not for sexual desire".

Mishra’s advocate Manu Sharma, while arguing his bail plea on Wednesday, said that the complainant, who is an elderly woman, in her case has not marked him as a lustful man. He added that the accused is not a flight risk and is already facing a lot after losing his job last week. 

The Delhi court on Wednesday reserved its order on the bail application of Mishra after Metropolitan Magistrate Komal Garg said that Mishra has “no criminal antecedents and is not in a position to influence the witnesses".  

Mishra was arrested on Friday night by Delhi Police from Bengaluru. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Saturday. 

Mishra’s advocate Sharma said Mishra has clearly and willingly participated in any inquiries related to the alleged event, with the intention to establish his innocence, and will continue to act in this bona fide manner. 

On January 11, The Delhi Police challenged a magisterial court’s order of January 7 denying the custody of Mishra. A Sessions court is likely to take up the matter later in the day. 

Earlier, Delhi police had issued a lookout notice to trace Mishra after he went missing. The Delhi Police had also issued an airport alert, and tracked him after they monitored his bank transactions, a report on ANI said. 

Mishra, who was on a New York-Delhi Air India flight on November 26, allegedly unzipped his pants and urinated on an elderly woman in business class. He later said that he had apologised to the woman and begged her not to report the case to the police, saying it would impact his wife and child.  

The matter came to light when the passenger expressed her displeasure in a letter to Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekharan, accusing the Air India cabin crew of showing extreme insensitivity to the circumstance. 

She said that the crew members gave her a new set of pyjamas and slippers only after she had complained that Mishra's urine was seeping into her clothes. The senior co-passenger said that she was forced to confront Mishra mid-air as soon as he began to sober up from his drunken state. 

Mishra was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 294 (obscene act in public place), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) as well as under Aircraft Rules. 

11/01/23 Business Today

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