A senior Air India pilot, who was suspended in May last year after being accused of sexual harassment by a woman colleague, has been reinstated, senior officials said. The airline’s internal complaints committee imposed a “major penalty” on Captain Sachin Gupta, who has now appealed against the punishment, they said. “The Internal Complaints Committee of Air India conducted an inquiry and found Captain Sachin Gupta guilty of misconduct,” PS Negi, Air India’s Regional Director told news agency PTI.
“In keeping with service regulations, Captain Sachin Gupta has now appealed to the Chairman and Managing Director against the punishment awarded. The said appeal on merit will be examined and considered by the competent appellate authority in due course of time,” he added.
Another senior Air India official told PTI that Sachin Gupta has been “reinstated as instructor”. Air India had suspended Sachin Gupta last year over the sexual harassment allegations, telling him that “pending enquiry, he would not enter Air India premises without written permission”.
The woman, who had been training under Sachin Gupta in Hyderabad, said he asked her if she would go out for dinner with him.
“We went to a restaurant at around 8 pm and this is where my ordeal started…. He started by telling me how depressed and unhappy he was in his married life,” the woman said in her complaint.
“He also asked me how I coped with my husband living away and if I didn’t need to have sex every day. He asked me if I masturbated. At one point I told him I did not want to talk about all this and called a cab,” she added.
“I was left shocked at this behaviour and felt extremely uncomfortable, scared and humiliated,” she said. The woman said she felt “morally obliged” to report this matter to the airline so that such behaviour is not repeated with anyone else in the future.