Kunal Kamra banned on Indigo and Air Vistara
Kunal Kamra banned on Indigo and Air Vistara
Litigation News

Delhi HC refuses to entertain Kunal Kamra's challenge to IndiGo, Vistara flying bans

The Court permitted Kamra to withdraw the petition and move the appropriate appellate authority for redressal.

Bar & Bench

The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain the petition filed by comedian Kunal Kamra against the flying ban imposed on him by several airlines inclduing IndiGo and Vistara.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla nonetheless permitted Kamra to withdraw the petition and move the appropriate appellate authority for redressal.

The comedian had posted a video of him confronting journalist Arnab Goswami, with whom he shared an IndiGo flight to Lucknow on January 28.

Kamra was subsequently banned from flying IndiGo for six months. He was intimated of the same via a tweet from IndiGo’s handle. Shortly thereafter, other airlines including GoAir, Air India, and Spice Jet also banned Kamra from flying with them indefinitely.

Kamra had then moved the High Court, stating that the travel ban imposed on him was in violation of the Civil Aviation Rules, as the punishment was imposed without following the due process of establishing an Internal Committee etc.

This writ petition was disposed of by the High Court with a direction to the Director General of Civil Aviation to consider Kamra's representation within eight weeks.

IndiGo's Internal Committee found Kamra guilty of a level 1 offence and banned him from flying for three months, starting January 28. Vistara also banned him till April 27 following the decision of its Internal Committee.

Aggrieved by the fact that all major airlines of the country had banned him from flying, Kamra moved a second writ petition.

Before the High Court, it was argued on behalf of Kamra today that in terms of the CDGCA's Civil Aviation Rules, in case of unruly behavior, the cabin crew has to first give one a warning, followed by a written warning and then a red-card notice. This procedure, however, was not followed in the present case.

It was further asserted that while Kamra may have appeared as an "unruly passenger", the account of events did not demonstrate "unruly behaviour" in terms of the law.

Kamra stated that he followed the instruction of the cabin crew as well as the pilot at all times and returned to his seat as soon as he was asked to do so.

The petition was opposed appearig for DGCA, IndiGo as well as Vistara on the ground of existence of an alterate appellate mechanism.

In response, Kamra stated that the existence of an alternate remedy would not denude the High Court of its power to interfere in a matter concerning enforcement of one's fundamental rights.

As an interim relief, Kamra also sought a directiom from the Court to allow him to travel on any one airline, in case of any medical exigencies etc.

After hearing the parties, the Court remarked that such behaviour could not be permitted on an airline and stated that it would not entertain the petition.

It nonetheless allowed Kamra to withdraw the petition and move the appropriate Appellate Authority for redressal of his grievance.

Senior Advocate Prashanto Sen and Advocate Ujjawal Anand Sharma represented Kamra. The petition was filed through Lawmen & White Partner, Advocate Prashant Sivarajan.

DGCA was represented by Standing Counsel Anjana Gosain.

IndiGo was represented by Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi.

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