Sunita Chaturvedi, the widow of junior technician Manish Pandey who was killed in an airplane crash in Ghatkopar in June, has alleged that her husband was made to fly on the aircraft by his employer under deceitful means. She submitted a complaint at Santacruz police station on Monday, seeking that the management of Indamer Aviation Limited and UY Aviation be booked for abducting and murdering her husband.
Pandey was one of five people who died after the Beechcraft King Air C-90 aircraft VT-UPZ plunged into a construction site in Ghatkopar West at 1.10 pm on June 28.
In her complaint, Chaturvedi has alleged that when her husband initially refused to board the aircraft, he was “induced by employees of Indamer and UY Aviation”.
Norms violated, no insurance
THE COMPLAINT comes after the standing committee on labour submitted a report to Parliament on December 28, stating that the plane carried two ground engineers , violating norms and provided no insurance cover following their death. “The agencies informed the committee that the particular aircraft was grounded due to an accident in February 2008 and its certificate of airworthiness was cancelled. Also, it was repaired in a non-scientific manner, and was taken for test flight without getting completion certificate from the DGCV” it added.
The aircraft, which had taken off for a test flight from the Juhu Aerodrome, did not have an airworthiness certificate, subsequent investigations showed.
Chaturvedi also appended to her complaint, a December 26 report by the Parliamentary Committee on Labour, which she claims concluded that her husband was “induced to board the aircraft under deceitful means”, going against norms set in place by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for test flights.
She further alleged that the plane “had to crash,” due to several factors like adverse weather, “wrong crew combination for test flight, aircraft being flown after ten years, aircraft being serviced unprofessionally, and the operator having secured his financial interest by getting the aircraft insured for (Rs) 7 crores”, her complaint states.
The aircraft was sold to Mumbai-based UY Aviation by the Uttar Pradesh government. The firm had contracted Indamer to maintain it.
Accusing both aviation firms of murder, Chaturvedi alleged that their managements were “aware of consequences of their act and they still induced Manish Pandey by deceitful means into VT-UPZ in spite of his refusal to go for that flight. It was not part of his duty also,” her complaint adds.
Chaturvedi has also sought protection from the Mumbai Police, claiming that the firms are pressuring her into not taking legal recourse.
Officials at Santacruz police station confirmed that Chaturvedi’s complaint had been received on Monday.
Rajeev Gupta, Managing Director, Indamer Aviation, said in an email response, “ I have met Mrs Chaturvedi only once when she came to our office with her father pursuant to a compassionate job offer made by us to her. She or her father at that point of time expressed no such concern to me. Her father was thankful for the help the company was providing.”
He added, “Indamer has at no point of time induced any staff to do anything which is contrary to the maintenance practices followed by the company. This is our company ethos. We practice truthfulness and professionalism in our work place.”
When contacted on Monday, a U Y Aviation spokesperson said that he was “not in a position to offer a comment”.