An internal committee formed by IndiGo to investigate the incident involving comedian Kunal Kamra heckling TV news anchor Arnab Goswami on board a flight from Mumbai to Lucknow, has reduced Kamra’s flying ban from the six months that the airline initially imposed, to three months effective from January 28.
A ban of three months is imposed when an offence is categorised as a Level 1 offence, which is the least critical, according to the norms.
Kunal Kamra’s petition in Delhi High Court
During a hearing in the Delhi High Court in the petition filed by Kamra challenging his flying ban, the committee set up by IndiGo told the court that it has approved a flying ban on Kamra for three months, PTI reported.
In a follow up to IndiGo’s initial ban of six months, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had taken to Twitter to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on Kamra.
This was followed by Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir also banning him from taking their flights for an indefinite period. Vistara and AirAsia India did not ban Kamra at the time citing due processes.
IndiGo did not respond to e-mail query sent by The Indian Express. An airline official, when sent a text message, declined to comment saying that the matter was under legal consideration.
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What the ‘no-fly’ rules say
In 2017, the government issued rules for preventing disruptive behaviour by air travellers and laid down guidelines for a no-fly list.
As per the rules, a complaint of unruly behaviour needs to be filed by the pilot-in-command, and this is to be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline.
During the period of pendency of the inquiry, the rules empower the concerned airline to impose a ban on the passenger. The committee is to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the ban duration.
The rules define three categories of unruly behaviour: Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment up to three months; Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for up to six months; Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour for which the debarment would be for a minimum of two years.