A former Jet Airways pilot, Bernd Hosselin, a German, accused of making “racist” comments on a Chandigarh-Mumbai flight, Friday sent a defamation notice to cricketer Harbhajan Singh and his friends Pooja Gujaral and Jatinder Singh Shah. Hosselin has also sent a defamation notice to his former employer Jet Airways, said Hosselin’s lawyer Samit Shukla of law firm DSK Legal. Hosselin’s legal action follows termination of his employment by the airlines on May 5, which, according to him, is a result of an altercation with Singh, Gujaral and Shah on April 3.
The alleged incident aboard a Chandigarh-Mumbai Jet flight came to light on April 26 when the cricketer posted tweets accusing Hosselin of making “racist” comments and assaulting a woman, besides abusing a physically challenged man on a domestic flight.
In a series of tweets, the cricketer had condemned the incident as “disgraceful”. “So called this Bernd Hoesslin a pilot with @jetairways called my fellow Indian (u bloody Indian get out of my flight) while he is earning here,” he wrote. “Not only was he a racist, but physically assaulted a lady and abused a physically challenged man.” Subsequently, Jet Airways expressed regret over the incident and said that corrective action would be taken as per company policy after due investigation. Hosselin’s lawyer Shukla on Friday denied all the allegations.
“We believe Jet Airways has terminated my client under pressure. Moreover, my client is virtually unemployed because of these incorrect allegations,” said Shukla. Shukla said Hosselin has sent a notice to Jet Airways for sacking him “despite repeated assurances from their senior officials of Jet Airways of not doing anything wrong, and acting in accordance with their and DGCA rules”. A spokesperson from Jet Airways declined to comment on the matter.