Saturday, September 09, 2023

Delhi High Court quashes FIR against former Air India pilot Arvind Kathpalia

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has quashed an FIR against former Air India pilot Arvind Kathpalia for the alleged offences of violating aircraft rules, including evading a breath analyser test, and forgery, saying the allegations against him are wholly insufficient to make out a case against him.

The high court said the petitioner, now retired, cannot be subjected to “double jeopardy” for the same offence, once after having been given a clean chit on merits in the disciplinary proceedings.

“The continuance of the FIR under the aforesaid circumstances shall, in the opinion of this court, result in the petitioner undergoing the ordeal twice over again for the same offence,” Justice Saurabh Banerjee said.

The high court’s order came on a petition by Kathpalia seeking the quashing of FIR for alleged offences of destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy, forgery, and using forged documents as genuine under the Indian Penal Code and under the provisions of the Aircraft Act.

Kathpalia was removed as director of operations of Air India in November 2018 after failing to clear the pre-flight alcohol test, with the government citing the “serious nature of the transgression and (his) failure to course correct”.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Kathpalia, submitted that the Disciplinary Authority of Air India filed a charge sheet in February 2019 against the petitioner, alleging acts of forgery and misconduct and he also filed a reply to it.

09/09/2023 PTI/Tribune

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