62-year-old man arrested for molesting Vistara air hostess
A 62-year-old Pune resident arrested last Saturday for allegedly harassing a Vistara air hostess may be the first person to be recommended by an airline for being put on the recently enforced no fly list (NFL). The Vistara airline says it has reported the matter to the police and “will wait for the investigation to conclude basis which we will decide for the next course for NFL.” A person may be grounded for up to three months for “unruly physical gestures” and up to six months for inappropriate touching.
A Vistara spokesperson said: “A member of our cabin crew operating flight number UK 997 from Lucknow to Delhi on March 24, 2018, reported an incident of sexual harassment by a passenger. Vistara does not tolerate abusive or unruly behavior by passengers that puts the safety of its staff and other customers at risk or compromises their dignity. We have reported the matter to the police and other relevant authorities. An FIR is registered and an investigation is on. We are fully committed to providing our cooperation to all the authorities.”
Sources say the alleged harassment took place when the plane landed in Delhi and passengers were about to alight from the aircraft. “The air hostess, who hails from Meghalaya, was touched inappropriately by the accused more than once. She reported the matter to her seniors and some passengers also saw this disgraceful act,” say sources. Following which, an FIR was registered against this Pune resident under sections for sexual harassment which is punishable with a maximum term of three years and a fine and he was arrested.
The system for implementing NFL is that the pilot-in-command or captain of the plane on which unruly behavior took place will file a complaint with the airline. The carrier concerned will set up an internal committee to examine the complaint and decide the matter in 30 days along with the duration of the ban on the unruly passenger.
Once a person is put on the NFL by an airline after this process, other carriers can also decide on banning him or her from flying for the same. However, the decision by one airline’s NFL will not be mandatory on other carriers.
Last year — before the NFL was in force — when two MPs, Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer inside an aircraft and later TDP’s Diwakar Reddy threatened IndiGo ground staff at Vizag airport, all airlines grounded them for some time.