After Kunal Kamra, a Mumbai based comedian tweeted a video, where he is seen confronting Republic TV journalist Arnab Goswami, asking him whether he is a “coward or a journalist”, throughout the 1.51 minute video Arnab doesn’t respond to any of Karma’s questions. The airlines was quick to take an action and barred Kamra from flying with them for a period of 6 months. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, also tweeted about the incident and advised other airlines to take same measures. Following which Air India, Spice jet and Go Air have banned Karma till further notice.
Arun Kumar, the Director General of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) speaking to a HuffPost journalist said that a 6 months' ban on Kunal Kamra by IndiGo and subsequent bans announced by other airlines, is a violation of the Civil Aviation Requirement Rules, under CAR Section 3, Series M, PartVI on “Handling of Unruly Passengers”. Further Kumar explained that in case of any unruly behaviour, like verbal spats or confrontations, the airlines should first impose a temporary ban of 30 days on the passenger and order an internal enquiry into the incident headed by a retired judge. According to the CAR rules unruly behaviour that is verbally unruly, and in those cases operator can debar a passenger for upto 3 months, but in Kamra’s case the airlines have announced a 6 months' ban even though there was only verbal confrontation as seen in the video. Further the rules require a complaint to be made to the pilot-in-command, which would be probed by an internal committee ordered by the airlines and headed by a district and sessions judge and should have representatives from different scheduled airlines, passengers’ association/consumer, association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as members. The internal committee will decide the matter within 30 days and give a specified period of ban on the “unruly” passenger.