Air India Urination Case: Witnesses Not Deposing in Police Favour, Says Delhi Court Reserving Order on Bail Plea

The witnesses named by Delhi police in a case against Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on a woman on board an Air India flight from New York to Delhi, are not deposing in the prosecution’s favour, a court here observed on Monday while it reserved its order on his bail application.

Additional Sessions Judge Harjyot Singh Bhalla heard the arguments from the counsel appearing for the prosecution and the accused, and said he will pronounce the order on Mishra’s bail application tomorrow.

“The witness you (Investigation agency) have named are not deposing in your favour… . There is a contradiction in the complainant’s statement and Ila Benarjee’s (witness) statement,” the judge noted during the proceedings.

Police opposed the bail application, saying “India has been defamed internationally because of the incident”, to which the judge said, “It may be disgusting but that is another matter, let’s not get into that. Let’s go into how the law deals with it.”

The prosecutor also claimed Mishra did not cooperate in the investigation and that he had switched off all his mobile phones.

The judge asked how the accused came to know about the FIR in the case, to which the prosecution said it was “through media”.

The judge further asked the prosecution how the media knew about the FIR.

“It was everywhere,” the prosecution told the court, adding that “he may influence the witnesses. He contacted the victim even after the FIR was lodged.”

The judge then asked what did the accused say in the message, to which the counsel appearing for the complainant said, “Intimidating messages were sent.”

Seeking relief, Mishra submitted that initially the bail had been declined by a magisterial court because the investigation was pending.

“Now that’s done and they have examined other crew members and witnesses. Also, they asked for reimbursement of the ticket and sought no action against me,” senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for the accused, said.

He added that all the offences alleged against Mishra were bailable.

A magisterial court had on January 11 denied bail to Mishra, saying the act was utterly disgusting and repulsive, shocked the civic consciousness and needed to be deprecated.

Mishra had allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman in an intoxicated condition in business class of an Air India flight on November 26 last year.

Delhi Police had registered the FIR against him on January 4 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint given by the woman to Air India.

Bengaluru police had assisted Delhi police in arresting Mishra from the Sanjay Nagar area in the city.

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