On February 26, 2020 Delhi High court judge Justice Navin Chawla while hearing plea of Kunal Kamra, stand-up comedian, questioned Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for imposing a flying ban on Kunal Kamra. The stand-up comedian was banned from flying after his controversial encounter with Republic TV channel’s editor Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight.
The court asked the DGCA to clarify by Thursday (February 27, 2020) why it "certified" the action of other airlines to penalise Kamra without any inquiry by the authorities. "Why did you (DGCA) give a certification on Twitter," Justice Navin Chawla asked the counsel for the regulator while hearing a plea by challenging IndiGo's decision to ban him from its flights for six months.
Petitioner in his petition submitted that he was banned by IndiGo for six months, before its internal committee even arrived at a decision. Other airlines, Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir, had imposed an indefinite ban on him for no reason.
Senior advocates Vivek Tankha, Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Mohit Mathur representing Kunal Kamra moved to Delhi Hight court to seek directions for DGCA to revoke ban by airlines and also to get answer to the questions such as why Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) norms were not followed.
“Even more shocking is the fact that other airlines, Air India, GoAir and SpiceJet, on which the petitioner was not even travelling (and in respect of which there was never any allegation against the petitioner), also followed suit and banned him for an indefinite period,” the plea says, noting that even IndiGo declared a six-month ban even before it received the complaint.
Air Indigo on January 28, 2020, late night, suspended stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for heckling Republic TV Channel journalist Arnab Goswami while he was in flight, for six months. Later, for same reason Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir also suspended him till further notice.
Arnab Goswami was flying from Mumbai to Lucknow in Indigo flight bearing 6E 5317. Kunal Kamra was also present in the same flight. Kunal Kamra then filmed a 1 minute 51 seconds video and uploaded it on Twitter. In the video, Kamra is seen asking questions to Arnab Goswami and also calling him ‘Coward’. He also said in the video that he knew what he was doing was against the regulations and he might go to jail for his act but still he dares to do this for Rohit Vemula’s mother. He asked him to go and read Rohit Vemula’s 10 pages suicide latter so that he may have some emotion or some heart or become human.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in his tweet also condemned such behaviour and asked other airlines to the same thing what Air Indigo did.
Author – Satwik Sharma