Flight row: EP Jayarajan likely to face legal action says former airport manager

Anand P

2 min read
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Visuals of the dramatic incident happened inside the flight and the runway premises / Screengrab: Mathrubhumi News

Thiruvananthapuram: The incident in which a case was filed against the three youth congress activists for raising slogans and protesting against the Chief Minister aboard the aircraft which flew to Thiruvananthapuram from Kannur is shrouded with legal concerns.

According to a former senior airport manager, local police cannot register a case without a written complaint issued by the flight captain or the airline station manager. Only based on such a complaint can a case be filed against the unruly passengers. In this case, Valiyathura Police filed a case under several charges, including IPC Section 307, for attempted murder based on a complaint handed over by the airport manager on behalf of the flight captain.

"Once the passengers are on board, the responsibility of the flight is in the hands of the cabin crew. This will continue until the flight is landed and is moved to the parking bay. In this case, the so-called protest happened inside the flight. Therefore, the captain has the right to report the incident to ATC, arrange security if needed to escort the passengers or issue a complaint. Meanwhile, CISF in the airport cannot take action against the passengers or arrest them. Based on the severity of the situation, they can hand over these passengers to the civil police officer along with a complaint of the flight captain or the airline station manager," said Sundaran, Senior Airport Manager(Operations)-Retd.

At the same time, he also pointed out that intoxicated passengers are not uncommon on passenger flights. Earlier, EP Jayarajan said that youth congress workers were inebriated. There is no restriction on passengers travelling after consuming alcohol. The liquor can also be consumed in the security hold area post the check-in and security check process. The flight attendant is at liberty to ask the intoxicated passenger to leave the plane if she feels that they could cause harm to themselves or endanger the lives of other passengers on board.

Sundaran said that EP Jayarajan could also be held responsible for manhandling the protestors. He pointed out that all those involved in the incident can be black-listed by the airlines and could attract punishment under the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) rules.

On Monday evening, two Youth Congress Mattannur Mandalam President Farsin Majeed (28) and Kannur district secretary R K Naveenkumar (34), raised slogans against the Chief Minister aboard the aircraft in which he travelled to Thiruvananthapuram from Kannur. There was also another person accompanying them. Valiyathura police have registered a case of attempted murder, obstructing a public servant, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault that threatens the safety of an aircraft.

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