Airlines ban on Kunal Kamra a violation of rules: DGCA chief Arun Kumar

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New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that the announced by IndiGo and other airlines including Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir on standup comedian Kunal Kamra is a clear violation of the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR Section 3, Series M, Part Vl on ‘Handling of Unruly Passengers) rules revised in 2017.

This has been disclosed by DGCA chief Arun Kumar who has said that in case of bad and unruly behaviour which is limited to verbal argument and heckling, the airlines should first impose a temporary ban of 30 days on the passenger and conduct an internal enquiry headed by a retired judge into the incident.

“Air India has been wise enough to impose a ban for an indefinite period and is awaiting the outcome of the enquiry report conducted by the airlines. In incidents restricted to verbal confrontation, a ban should not be more than three months,” Kumar has been quoted as saying by a website.

However, PTI has reported the matter quite differently. According to the news agency DGCA said Wednesday the action by the carriers is in complete consonance with its regulations.

The news agency has quoted a statement given by DGCA. “This is to reiterate that the action taken by the airlines is in complete consonance with Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section-3, Series M Part VI on Handling of unruly passengers,” said the statement.

“Now the matter is to be referred to the internal committee as prescribed in para 6.1 of the said CAR. Further, as per para 6.4 of the CAR, the internal committee is to give the final decision in 30 days by giving the reasons in writing, which shall be binding on the airline concerned. Punishment for different type of unruly behaviour is also prescribed in the same CAR and the internal committee has to adhere to the same,” the statement added.

When asked about the ban imposed on Kamra by other airlines, Kumar said it depends on the complaint received by crew members travelling on the flight.

“The airline should have waited for the internal enquiry to be completed before putting the passenger on the no-flyers list for six months,” the DGCA chief has been quoted as saying.

Kamra was suspended from flying with IndiGo for six months after he confronted ‘Republic TV’ editor Arnab Goswami about his style of reporting and politics. This was onboard flight 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, January 28.

Following the incident SpiceJet, GoAir and Air India also placed Kamra on the ‘no-fly’ list. There action came after the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardip Singh Puri tweeted an ‘advisory’ to impose similar restrictions on Kamra.

SpiceJet announced a ban of six months while Air India placed an indefinite ban on Kamra.

Agencies

 

 

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