Airlines that dump human excreta mid-air will be fined, India's green tribunal ruled after a retired general complained his house was splattered by such droppings.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said an airline found to have emptied its toilet tank mid-air would have to pay 50,000 rupees (about 736 dollars) as compensation and the funds would be used for improving the environment, judicial officer N Goel said Wednesday.

The NGT in a series of directions given Tuesday asked India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation to carry out random inspections of aircraft after they landed and said those found with their toilet tanks empty would be liable to pay the fine.

The petition was filed by retired lieutenant general Satwant Singh Dahiya, who had alleged that aircraft were dumping waste over residential areas before landing at the airport in New Delhi, and that excrement had hit his residence.

The tribunal had directed the Central Pollution Control board to collect and test the matter, which it did, and confirmed it was human excreta. But the pollution control board also said it could not identify the source of the excreta, according to the court's records.

A senior pilot said most modern passenger aircraft cannot dump toilet waste while flying. They store the waste in special tanks which are disposed off after the aircraft lands.