Air India reinstates senior pilot found guilty of sexual harassment

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A six-member committee has been set up to investigate the complaint. Representational Photo: iStock

New Delhi: A senior Air India (AI) pilot, found guilty of sexual harassment by an internal committee of the airline, has been reinstated recently, senior officials said.
The committee imposed a major penalty on Captain Sachin Gupta who has now appealed to the next authority against the punishment, they said.

In response to specific queries on the matter, P.S. Negi, Regional Director (Northern Region), Air India, said, “The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Air India conducted the enquiry proceedings and found Captain Sachin Gupta guilty of the charges of misconduct. The immediate competent disciplinary authority has imposed a major penalty as per the company’s service regulation that is applicable to Captain Sachin Gupta, he said.

In keeping with these service regulations, Captain Sachin Gupta has now appealed to the next higher authority/CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) against the punishment awarded. The said appeal on merit will be examined and considered by the competent appellate authority in due course, he added.

Another senior Air India official said on condition of anonymity that Gupta has been reinstated as an instructor.

According to a complaint filed by the aggrieved woman pilot, the incident took place on May 5 last year in Hyderabad, where she was being trained by Gupta.

In the complaint, she had alleged that Gupta suggested that the two should have dinner at a restaurant after the training session was over on that day.

“We went to (a) restaurant around 8 pm and this is where my ordeal started… He started with telling me how depressed and unhappy he was in his married life,” the complainant said.

He also asked me how I coped with my husband living away and whether I didn’t need to have sex every day. The complainant said she did not intend to talk of it.

The pilot alleged that the instructor’s behaviour got worse during the half-hour wait for the cab.