With four Indian airlines banning stand-up comic Kunal Kamra from flying with them for allegedly heckling journalist Arnab Goswami onboard an IndiGo plane, aviation regulator DGCA on Wednesday said the action by the carriers is in complete consonance with its regulations.
While SpiceJet, Air India and GoAir have banned Kamra "till further notice", IndiGo has suspended Kamra from flying with it for six months.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) 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."
"Now the matter is to be referred to the internal committee as prescribed in para 6.1 of the said CAR. Further, as per para 6.4 of the CAR, the internal committee is to give the final decision in 30 days by giving the reasons in writing, which shall be binding on the airline concerned. Punishment for different type of unruly behaviour is also prescribed in the same CAR and the internal committee has to adhere to the same," it added.
IndiGo had suspended Kamra citing "unacceptable conduct" in view of the incident onboard an IndiGo flight where the comedian accosted journalist Arnab Goswami and also made a video of it.
Kamra and Goswami were travelling in an IndiGo flight 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow on Tuesday when the incident happened. In the video posted by Kamra on his Twitter handle, Goswami, who can be seen glued to his laptop, did not respond to the former's heckling.
The airline has advised passengers to refrain from indulging in "personal slander" whilst onboard, as this can potentially compromise the safety of fellow passengers.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine