‘Can’t Permit Such Behavior on Flights’: Delhi HC Refuses to Entertain Kunal Kamra’s Plea Against Flying Ban

Political Satirist Kunal Kamra is known for his sharply critical views against the government and government-friendly media networks.

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 including IndiGo and Vistara.

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

“This kind of behaviour certainly cannot be permitted,” said the High Court.

Kunal Kamra has been banned by five airlines for heckling a TV channel editor on an IndiGo flight in January. The ban followed a directive by the aviation ministry that drew much criticism.

Mr Kamra, a Mumbai-based stand-up comic known for his sharply critical views against the government and government-friendly media networks, was banned by IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir after he posted a video of his encounter with Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV. In the video, he is seen throwing questions at Mr Goswami, who doesn’t respond.

Recently, Vistara also followed suit.

The airline ban triggered criticism from social media users who recalled how reporters working for Mr Goswami have frequently heckled opposition leaders in public places and on flights.

Also Read: Editorial with Sujit Nair: Is Kunal Kamra’s Action Justified?

Before the High Court, it was argued on behalf of Kamra today that in terms of the Civil Aviation Rules, 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 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The petition was subsequently withdrawn to allow Kamra to move the appropriate Appellate Authority for redressal of his grievance.

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