Life term for man who enacted mid-air hijack drama

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) A Delhi court Tuesday awarded life term to a man convicted for enacting a hijack drama aboard an Indigo Airlines plane in February 2009 and threatening the crew and passengers.

District-cum-Additional Sessions Judge I.S. Mehta awarded life term to convict Jitender Kumar Mohla, 45, for charges under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Mohla entered the cockpit and sparked panic by claiming that he had hijacked the plane, the chargesheet said.

"Mohla is awarded life imprisonment under section 3(1)(d) of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation Act," the court said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs.7,000 on him.

Mohla was also found guilty for charges dealing with endangering human life, criminal intimidation and impersonating a public servant.

He was acquitted of the charges under the anti-hijacking law by the court which observed that nothing incriminating was found from his possession when he was arrested Feb 2.

According to the prosecution, the convict enacted a mid-air drama on a Goa-Delhi Indigo Airlines flight by threatening the crew and passengers that he was carrying infected needles and gun.

The chargesheet filed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security alleged that Mohla's drama created panic at the Delhi airport. The plane made an emergency landing and was kept in isolation for two-and-a-half hours.