Airlines have no authority to impose a flight ban on anybody, including parliamentarians, and the law of the land should take its course, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P J Kurien said Thursday. The remarks came after SP member Naresh Agrawal raised the issue of a recent flight ban imposed on an MP by major domestic airlines, including state-owned Air India. Agrawal wanted to know if the airlines could impose such restrictions. According to him, such an action was a breach of privilege of MPs.
Several airlines, which had recently imposed a flight ban on TDP MP J C Diwakar Reddy, who had thrown a printer at the Vizag airport counter on June 15, lifted the ban Wednesday. In March, Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Gaikwad had been banned for a fortnight from flying on domestic airlines after reportedly hitting an Air-India officer.
Kurien agreed that Agrawal had raised a “valid point” that if any MP has committed a crime or something against the law, the law of the land should take its course. “Airlines are not given the authority to punish anybody. I think the government should take note of it,” he said. “MPs are also citizens… if they commit a crime or mistake, the law of the land should take recourse to it,” the deputy chairman said. “It is a punishment imposed on an MP for some crime… This cannot be done. This is not a thing to be punished by airlines.”