The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has clarified that Huffington Post had misquoted the DGCA chief in a report with regards to the flight ban imposed on comedian Kunal Kamra for his unruly behaviour on an Indigo flight. A report published today by Huffington Post India had claimed that director general of DGCA Arun Kumar had said that the ban imposed by Indigo and other airlines on Kamra was a clear violation of rules.
The report had quoted Kumar as saying that the ban announced by IndiGo and other airlines including Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir on stand-up 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. The DGCA chief had said that in case of any unruly behaviour restricted to verbal confrontation, the airlines should first impose a temporary ban of 30 days, and conduct an internal enquiry headed by a retired judge, the report had claimed.
— DGCA (@DGCAIndia) January 29, 2020
“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 report at quoted the DGCA chief.
But now DGCA has said that Huffpost misquoted the Director General in its report. A statement issued by DGCA on its official Twitter handle said that the airlines didn’t violate any rule by banning Kunal Kamra for six months, as claimed by the report. DGCA says that the airlines didn’t violate the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section-3, Series M Part VI on Handling of unruly passengers as claimed by the report, and the action taken by them is in complete consonance with this rule.
DGCA further clarifies that the matter will be referred to the internal committee, and the committee will have to give final decision in 30 days, which will be binding on the airline.
The full text of the statement reads:
|HUFFPOST has misquoted/misrepresented the facts as stated by the Director General of Civil Aviation in its News Item published today at 5:01PM.|
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.
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 behavior is also prescribed in the same CAR and the Internal Committee has to adhere to the same.
On January 28, Indigo Airlines had put Kunal Kamra on a No-Fly list after he had heckled and abused Arnab Goswami on a Mumbai-Lucknow flight of the airlines. Kunal had himself uploaded a video of the incident where he was seeing abusing Arnab Goswami on the flight, while the Republic editor was ignoring him by concentrating on something he was watching on his laptop by putting his earphones on. Later a co-passenger of the flight had told OpIndia that Kunal had delayed the flight by refusing the sit before the take-off, as he was demanding answers from Arnab by standing near him. Eventually, air-hostesses had to escort him to his seat so that the flight can take off. After take-off he had come back to Arnab and continued the abuses.
Due to such unruly behaviour, IndiGo had banned him, and later Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir also banned him from their airlines following advice by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Sing Puri.