Delhi Police quiz 34 pilots — over chat on WhatsApp group

Investigation has revealed that the pilots and DGCA were at loggerheads over the proposal to increase the notice period for pilots from six months to one year.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 7, 2017 3:55 am

HOURS AFTER a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) filed a complaint against several pilots working with four airlines at Lodhi Colony police station for using “filthy and abusive language”, the Delhi Police Tuesday questioned 34 pilots in connection with the issue. However, no FIR has been registered and police are, at present, seeking legal opinion. Additional DCP (south), Chinmoy Biswal said they have received a complaint against 34 pilots and that they are currently examining it. As of now, no FIR has been registered and no arrest has been made, he said.

Sources said the complaint was made by DGCA’s joint director general Lalit Gupta after he came to know that some pilots abused him on their WhatsApp group. “He got to know about it after one of the pilots, who is also a member of the WhatsApp group, sent him screenshots of the conversations. He later filed a complaint and police started their investigation after seeking legal help,” sources said.

Investigation has revealed that the pilots and DGCA were at loggerheads over the proposal to increase the notice period for pilots from six months to one year. “On Monday, in a WhatsApp group, they were discussing the same issue and some of them said that the DGCA official had directed the airline to check the mental alertness of all these pilots since they could not even quote a designation properly. Agitated at this, some of the pilots started using filthy language and abused Gupta in their conversation,” sources said, adding that the pilots have admitted their mistake before police and apologised for their act.

Officials from Jet Airways confirmed that a few of its cockpit crew were called to record their statements. “The airline is extending its full cooperation to the authorities. The matter is under investigation so we are unable to comment on it further. Jet Airways will take appropriate measures if necessary, as per company policy, and in compliance with the local law,” said an airline spokesperson.

SpiceJet, however, maintained that none of their pilots have written any derogatory or obscene message against any DGCA official. “One of our pilots had just forwarded some WhatsApp messages to a few friends and colleagues,” said the airline spokesperson.

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