Top DGCA babu is slapped with ICPA legal notice

The ICPA has sent a legal notice, highlighting the inaction of DGCA.

Mumbai: The Indian Commercial Pilot’s Association (ICPA) has sent a legal notice to Lalit Gupta, joint director general of Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) for not taking action against Captain A. Kathaplia, who operated flights without undergoing the mandatory breath analyser test. The ICPA is seeking action against Mr Gupta for failure to initiate criminal action under sections 120-B, 202, 217 and 218 of the IPC. The association also listed down all the violations by DGCA and one of the senior pilots of Air India. It has also mentioned all the incidents where no action was taken.

The ICPA has written several letters to the regulatory authority to take action against the captain as he flouted rules several times while flying the national carrier. However, it was only on February 9 after ICPA wrote its third letter that DGCA suspended the captain for three months, which according to the law, was a mild punishment.

The ICPA has sent a legal notice, highlighting the “inaction” of DGCA. According to rules, there are three types of actions regulated and prescribed under the Aircraft Act & Rules and Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) for misfeasance, malfeasance and crime.

The ICPA in the letter said, “Captain Kathpalia’s actions were not only an embarrassment to Air India and the flying community as a whole, but also to the DGCA itself where he was chief of flight operations inspector. His actions as detailed constitute criminal offences and leave one in no doubt about his lack of character, integrity and judgment.” If DGCA fails to reply within seven days, ICPA will take penal action under the CAR and applicable criminal law against Mr. Kathpalia and Mr Gupta. Repeated attempts to contact Mr Gupta were unsuccessful.

Provisions relevant for repeated offences are 24(1), (3) and (4) read with Schedule VI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. In addition, for having forged a part of a public register, capt. Kathpalia would be guilty of forgery under Sections 465 & 466 of the Indian Penal Code and for having intimidated the medical officer who is a public official. He would also be guilty of criminal intimidation under Chapters X, XII and XXII of the Indian Penal Code.

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