In an unprecedented move, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had filed a police complaint against as many as 34 pilots for posting obscene messages and using filthy and abusive language on a WhatsApp group against its officials. It has been learned that Delhi had questioned the accused pilots, according to Indian Express report. Additional DCP (south), Chinmoy Biswal said that police was currently examining the case and no FIR has been registered and no arrest has been made so far. Police was also seeking legal opinion on the matter.
Here are key takeaways from the WhatsApp row
- DGCA’s joint director general Lalit Gupta made the complaint after he came to know that some pilots abused him on their WhatsApp group, according to IE report. 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 conversation, the report says.
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- 34 pilots are working with four airliners- Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir.
- During the investigation, it was 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, teh report says.
- It has been learned that unconditional apology has come from the airlines’ managements, according to PTI report.
- “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 Jet Airways spokesperson.
- SpiceJet has said that one of its pilots had just forwarded some WhatsApp messages to a few friends and colleagues.
- IndiGo has said that appropriate action would be taken after an internal enquiry into the matter. “We are looking into the charges and extending full cooperation to the DGCA in this matter. Basis the findings of our internal enquiry, we will take appropriate action,” a spokesperson said.
- GoAir said that only one of its pilots has been named in the complaint and the issue was closed now after the airline filed an unconditional apology along with the other three private carriers.
- Union Minister Jayant Sinha has said that it was obviously quiet distressing that (such) kind of language has been used and of course. We obviously want our regulators and our pilots to be working together in a very collaborative and cooperative manner, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation said.