Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad said on Friday he would file a defamation case against the Air India CMD and its staffer R Sukumar, who he allegedly thrashed, if they do not apologise for bringing “ignominy” to him. Speaking to PTI, Gaekwad said he plans to file the case at a court in Osmanabad (Maharashtra), his Lok Sabha constituency, next week against the “main officials” of Air India for allegedly defaming him.
He has also filed a complaint at the airport police station against the airline officials for allegedly misbehaving with him.
“I have made a written complaint with DCP Sanjay Bhatia… I will file a defamation case against the CMD (Chairman & Managing Director) and officers (of Air India) next week for bringing ignominy to me across the country by spreading false information against me, besides insulting me.
“Now they will come to apologise to me there (in court). I will not sit quiet until they apologise,” Gaekwad said.
Referring to the police complaint filed against him by Air India, he claimed the FIR cannot be registered against him without the approval from the Lok Sabha Speaker as Parliament is in session.
The Sena lawmaker said he has also raised the issue with Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, urging him to take action in the matter.
Hitting out at Sukumar, Gaekwad reiterated that the Air India staffer “misbehaved” with him and said the footage of the CCTV camera installed in the aircraft concerned can be checked to verify “who was at fault”.
“The other AI employees kept telling him (Sukumar) that I was not at fault. Yet, he was arrogant, misbehaved with me..he spread false information that I misbehaved over seat issues,” he added.
Gaekwad also said that he has already discussed the entire episode with his party leadership.
Confirming the filing of a complaint by the MP, a senior Delhi Police officer said, “He has given a complaint to DCP (Airport) against Air India officials alleging that they misbehaved with him by pushing him. He has also alleged that they didn’t give him Business Class seats and instead made him sit in Economy Class.”
Gaekwad is in the eye of a storm for repeatedly hitting the 60-year-old employee of Air India yesterday with a sandal.