On Monday, Arvind Kathpalia, an Air India pilot was granted anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court. The pilot was suspended for allegedly violating aircraft rules and also avoiding a breath-analyzer test and forgery.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted relief to Arvind Kathpalia on his plea apprehending arrest in a case lodged against him on the direction of a lower court. In 2017, he was charged with intimidating a doctor working with the airline. He was also accused of tampering with evidence.

Last November, Kathpalia was removed from his post as the director of operations of Air India after he failed to clear a pre-flight alcohol test, with the government citing “serious nature of the transgression and (his) failure to course-correct”. However, the court restrained police from taking coercive steps against Mr. Kathpalia.

According to police, Mr. Kathpalia had operated a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru without undergoing the mandatory pre-flight breath analyzer test on January 19, 2017. Police also claimed that he even refused to undergo a similar test at Bengaluru.

After he arrived in New Delhi, he had allegedly gone to the Pre-Flight Medical Examination Room and made a fake entry in the Pre-Flight Breath Analyzer Examination Register for the flight he had operated.

His anticipatory bail plea was opposed by the Delhi Police claiming that it was not a normal case of forgery as he threatened the doctor on duty and the consequences were grave. The police were earlier directed by the trial court to lodge the FIR for alleged violation of aircraft rules, tampering with evidence and intimidating a doctor working with Air India. Mr. Kathpalia has also issued threats and intimidated an on-duty doctor, Nitin Seth, alleged police.

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