Kunal Kamra sends legal notice to IndiGo; demands Rs. 25L
Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra has sent a legal notice to IndiGo airlines after the budget flier suspended him for six months. Kamra has also sought the repeal of his suspension claiming that IndiGo's action was a contravention of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Earlier this week, Kamra heckled journalist Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight which led to his suspension. Here are more details.
Kamra sought Rs. 25 lakh for 'mental pain and agony'
Reportedly, Kamra has sought Rs. 25 lakh as compensation from IndiGo for "mental pain and agony." He also sought compensation for the "losses incurred on account of cancellation of his scheduled shows and programs in India as well as abroad," due to the suspension, which has been deemed "totally illegal, arbitrary and high-handed procedure." You can read the complete notice on Bar & Bench.
Here are Kamra's other demands
Separately, in the notice, Kamra has also urged IndiGo to pay Rs. 1 lakh for his legal fee and sought the immediate revocation of the six-month suspension by IndiGo. The comedian has also sought action against the "errant officials responsible for imposing the instant ban."
Kamra was suspended after heckling Arnab Goswami on Mumbai-Lucknow flight
On Tuesday, Kamra heckled Arnab Goswami, the editor of Republic TV, aboard the IndiGo 6E 5317 Mumbai-Lucknow flight. A video of the same was posted by Kamra himself. After the video went viral, IndiGo suspended Kamra for six months. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri then asked other airlines to follow suit. Thereafter, Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir suspended him "until further notice."
What are Civil Aviation Requirements for "unruly passengers"?
The DGCA lists three categories under which a passenger can be banned from flying: A three-month ban for indulging in disruptive behavior such as verbal harassment. A six-month ban for those indulging in physically abusive behavior. A two-year ban for "endangering aircraft and passengers." Separately, those who pose a national security threat can remain banned as long as the threat persists.
Kamra's suspension invited severe backlash
The suspension invited severe backlash, as many compared it to the inaction against BJP MP Pragya Thakur's behavior on a SpiceJet flight in December. Others said the suspension was a violation of Civil Aviation Requirements. Meanwhile, airlines Vistara and AirAsia are reviewing Kamra's behavior.
IndiGo pilot also opposed Kamra's suspension
Incidentally, on Thursday, the IndiGo pilot, who flew the aircraft on which the incident occurred, opposed the suspension. The pilot, Captain Rohit Mateti, wrote to IndiGo's management saying that although Kamra's behavior was "unsavory," he didn't qualify as a level 1 unruly passenger. Mateti was also disheartened that the suspension was ordered without consulting the Pilot-in-Command. Kamra praised the pilot in a Friday tweet.
I salute Captain Rohit Mateti, Kamra tweeted
Captain Rohit Mateti ko mera salaam— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) January 31, 2020