Air India has accepted the resignation of its Regional Director for East, Rohit Bhasin, who was allegedly caught shoplifting a wallet from a duty-free shop at the Sydney airport on June 22, airline officials said on Wednesday.
His last day at Air India would be August 31, one of the officials said.
“Bhasin’s suspension was revoked on Monday so that his resignation can be accepted on Tuesday. The revoking of suspension was just a technicality,” said the official.
Bhasin has been under suspension and not permitted to enter the premises of the national carrier since the date of the incident.
Bhasin was rostered as one of the commanders (pilots) of AI301 flight, which was set to depart at 10.45 am (local time) on June 22 from the Sydney airport for Delhi.
On June 23, the airline spokesperson said, “There is an initial report of one of its captains Mr Rohit Bhasin, who is also working as a regional director, picking up a wallet from a duty-free shop in Sydney. Air India has instituted an enquiry into this incident and has placed the captain under suspension.”
According to another airline official, around a week back, Bhasin had come to meet the Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani in order to proffer resignation under Voluntary Resignation Scheme (VRS).
Lohani refused to accept the resignation under VRS scheme, the official said.
“As the incident happened outside India, it is really difficult to follow the case. So the CMD asked him to either resign – in a way that he can’t use post-retirement benefits like medical remuneration, passes for dependent family, etc. – or fight the case in Sydney. Bhasin chose to resign without post-retirement benefits,” the official said.
This was a case of forced resignation, added the official.
The Air India spokesperson – when asked about this matter – refused to comment.