Thursday, September 23, 2021

Kunal Kamra’s flying ban halved to 3 months by IndiGo

Kunal Kamra

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the IndiGo airline’s flying ban imposed on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra in January has been reduced to three months
The regulator told Justice Navin Chawla that the airline’s internal committee had passed the order at 9.30 am.
Kamra was banned from flying by four airlines on January 28 after he tweeted a 111-second video that showed him heckling television anchor Arnab Goswami on a Mumbai-Lucknow flight. Neither the journalist nor the pilot had lodged a formal complaint against Kamra. But once the video got out, there were calls for action against the comedian.
IndiGo specified a six-month period while other airlines — Air India, Spicejet and GoAir — imposed an indefinite ban on him.
Kamra had approached the aviation regulator against the flight ban, asserting that the airline hadn’t gone by the rulebook in his case. He pointed out that Captain Rohit Mateti, the pilot who was incharge of the flight, hadn’t complained against him as should have been done under aviation rules relating to unruly passengers.
Justice Navin Chawla had pulled up the regulator at the last hearing for its tweet backing the airline’s decision to impose the flight ban and refusing to act on Kunal Kamra’s representation to him. The judge told the regulator that once Kamra lodged a complaint before the DGCA claiming violation of Civil Aviation Rules by the airlines, the regulator could not say it will not look into it.
After the court was informed about the decision to reduce the duration of the flight ban, the judge disposed of Kunal Kamra’s petition but gave him the right to come back with a fresh plea if the regulator doesn’t take a call on his representation within the next two months.
In a video clip posted by Kamra in January, he is seen asking the journalist if he is a “coward or a journalist”. While Goswami can be seen sitting in the plane and watching something on his laptop with his earphones plugged in, Kamara continued to troll him.