NEW DELHI: An inebriated Indian student aboard an American Airlines flight from New York to Delhi allegedly urinated while asleep in his seat and soiled a male co-passenger on Saturday, with Delhi Police registering a case based on a complaint from the airline.
The airline has submitted a report about the incident to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The airline seems to have handled the situation professionally and have taken all appropriate action, a senior official at the aviation regulator told PTI.
The incident happened on flight AA292, which landed at the Delhi airport at 9.50 pm on Saturday.
When contacted, American Airlines in a statement on Sunday said the flight was "met by local enforcement upon arrival in Delhi due to a disruptive customer" but did not provide specific details about the incident.
Delhi airport DCP Devesh Kumar Mahla on Sunday said a complaint of urination on a co-passenger has been received from American Airlines against one person, who is a student in the US. The accused is a resident of Defence Colony in the national capital.
"We have registered a case under sections 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) and 294 (punishment for obscene acts or words in public) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 22 and 23 of the Civil Aviation Act. The accused joined the probe along with his father. He was released after interrogation. He has not been arrested in the case yet as further investigation in the matter is still underway," he said.
An airport source told PTI, "The accused is a student in a US university. He was in a state of inebriation and urinated while he was asleep. It somehow leaked and fell on a fellow passenger who complained to the crew." The male victim was not keen on reporting the matter to the police after the student apologised as it might put his career in jeopardy, according to the source.
However, the airline took it seriously and reported it to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at the airport.
After the crew came to know about the incident on board, they informed the pilot who reported the matter to the ATC, which further alerted the CISF personnel who handed over the accused passenger to Delhi police.
"The airline's own security team, along with the CISF, came into action after the incident came to light. The accused was immediately taken into custody once the flight landed. Police are recording the statements of the persons concerned," another source at the airport told PTI.
In a statement, American Airlines said its flight (AA)292 with service from John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Indira Gandhi International Airport was met by local law enforcement upon arrival in Delhi due to a disruptive customer.
"The flight landed safely at 9.50 pm. We're grateful to our crew members who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and handled the circumstances with the utmost professionalism," the airline said.
Last year, there was at least one incident of a passenger allegedly urinating on a co-passenger on board a flight. The incident happened on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi on November 26 and came to light in January this year.
The passenger, Shankar Mishra, in an inebriated state, had allegedly urinated on an elderly woman co-passenger. Mishra was arrested and later released on bail.
Following the incident, Air India had imposed a flying ban on the passenger concerned while aviation regulator DGCA had taken enforcement action against the airline in relation to the incident.
As per civil aviation rules, if a passenger is found guilty of unruly behaviour, enforcement action, including imposing a flying ban, can be taken depending on the level of offence.