Jharkhand HC Quashes FIR Against BJP MPs in Deoghar Airport Case

The Jharkhand High Court on Monday quashed a police case against BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey and Manoj Tiwari for allegedly forcing the air traffic control (ATC) to provide clearance to their chartered flight to take off from the Deoghar airport.

Hearing a petition filed by them, a bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi quashed the FIR lodged in the Kunda police station in Deoghar district in August last year.

The case was registered against nine people, including the two MPs, for allegedly forcing ATC personnel to provide clearance to their chartered flight to take off from the Deoghar airport beyond the scheduled time on August 31, officials said.

This was against the security protocol maintained in airports, the FIR said.

Dubey’s counsel informed the court that the flight on August 31 from Deoghar to Delhi was delayed. However, a flight can take off half an hour after sunset as per aviation rules.

On that day the sun had set at 6.03 pm, while the flight took off at 6.17 pm, which was well within the accepted norms of flying, the counsel said.

Dubey’s counsel also argued that the MPs were targeted due to political vendetta and maliciously framed in a false case.

Justifying the FIR, Additional Advocate General Sachin Kumar said the Deoghar airport does not have night landing and take-off facilities.

The two MPs used their clout and put undue pressure on the authorities to get clearance for flying, risking the lives of everyone, Kumar said.

The airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 12.

On September 2, Deoghar Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri in a letter to the state’s principal secretary of cabinet-coordination (civil aviation) had said that after boarding the plane, the pilot came out of it and started walking towards the ATC.

On August 31, the sunset was at 6.03 pm and the flight took off at 6.17 pm, but air services are to be conducted up to 5.30 pm at the Deoghar airport, Bhajantri said in the letter.

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