As airlines rush to ban comedian Kunal Kamra, civil aviation body responds
With airlines rushing to ban stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra — for heckling a TV channel presenter and editor on board an IndiGo flight — on their planes, aviation regulator on Wednesday said the action by the carriers is in line with its regulations.
Kamra has been banned from flying with GoAir, SpiceJet, Air India till “further notice”, while IndiGo, on whose plane the heckling stunt happened, has barred him from flying with it for next six months citing unacceptable behaviour.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), as reported by the news agency PTI, said, “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.
The DGCA said the “matter will be referred to an internal committee” and that committee is then to give a final decision in 30 days which will be “binding on the airline concerned”.
It further said that the “punishment for different types of unruly behaviour” is also prescribed in the CAR and the committee has to adhere to the same.
Soon after the IndiGo banned Kamra from flying with it on Tuesday night, aviation minister Hardeep Puri advised other airlines to impose a similar ban on the comedian.
“Offensive behaviour designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable & endangers safety of air travellers. We are left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned,” the minister tweeted last night.
GoAir, SpiceJet, Air India followed suit soon after.
An AirAsia India official told PTI that the airline is waiting for the aviation regulator DGCA to issue a formal notice, and after then it will take action against Kamra.
Taking a dig at the airlines, the comedian tweeted this evening that Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi — all absconding and wanted in mega frauds — were able to take a flight when they shouldn’t have.