Reacting to the statement of Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on an elder woman mid-way on an Air India flight, that the complainant herself could have peed on her seat, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Saturday termed his defence as 'shameful'.
"This is a very poor twist and a very poor defence of someone who has been held guilty, and an entire sequence of events shows that there is truth to that what the woman is claiming," Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
She said that saying something like that 80 per cent of Kathak dancers face this issue of ending up urinating on themselves, is such a shameful defence to make. "I am hoping that the court will take a strong stance just like it did in an earlier defence, which was presented by the same lawyers," she said.
Shiv Sena MP claimed that there was incoherency in the statement of the accused and his father.
"The lawyers have been changing their stance, the person, who is held guilty of this crime has been changing his stance, his father has been speaking a different language," she said, adding that all these needs to be stopped and Air India should hold itself accountable as well as the court should come down heavily on such kinds of defence.
Earlier, during the hearing, the accused through senior lawyer Ramesh Gupta submitted, "The complainant woman's seat was blocked. It wasn't possible for him (Mishra) to go there. The woman has a problem of incontinence. She urinated on herself. She is a Kathak dancer, 80 per cent of kathak dancers have this issue."
Raising questions over the Delhi Police investigation, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta submitted that there must be someone else.
"She herself urinated. The seating system was such that no one could go to her seat. The passenger sitting behind the complainant did not make any such complaint," he added.
After noting the submissions made before the session court by the Delhi Police to investigate was the accused person was intoxicated before boarding the flight or not, the Additional Sessions Judge said: "The appeal doesn't seem to have been made before the magistrate court. It is not appropriate to decide on an order based on submissions not made before the magistrate. The ground seems to be widely worded and the magistrate can't be expected to apply his mind to all possible situations.
Shankar Mishra was arrested by Delhi police from Bengaluru on January 6, 2023.
Mishra had allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman in an intoxicated condition in business class of an Air India flight on November 26 last year.
Delhi Police had registered the First Information report (FIR) against him on January 4 on a complaint given by the woman to Air India under sections 354, 509, and 510 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act. Both the accused and the victim are from outside Delhi.
US-based financial services company Wells Fargo last week also terminated its employee Shankar Mishra.
In the bail plea, Shankar Mishra stated that he will continue to be cooperative with the police in the future as well and cooperate in the investigation in any manner or form required. The scene of the crime i.e., the aircraft is already vitiated.