Hyderabad: Believe it or not, Ministry of Civil Aviation has no information about Indigo airlines’ ban on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.

Kunal Kamra was banned by Indigo for allegedly confronting Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami on board in January. Later several airlines followed suit and banned the comedian.

However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, said it has no information regarding banning of the passenger on the Indigo airlines.

“No communication was made by the Government with the airlines before any restriction was imposed on the passenger,” the Ministry replied.

The response comes against the backdrop of Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri’s advice to other airlines “to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned.”

Interestingly, the government further clarified that such issues will be tackled as per the ‘handling of unruly passengers’ rules of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

On January 28, Indigo Airlines had placed the comedian Kunal Kamra on ‘No-Fly’ list for three months for ‘Level 1′ offence. Level 1 breach refers to the use of threatening or abusive language towards a crew member or another passenger.

The comedian had posted a video on Twitter confronting Arnab Goswami for his ‘political’ views.

After the incident, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had reacted sharply. “Offensive behavior designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is unacceptable & endangers the safety of air travelers. We are left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned,” Singh said

Later Aiir India, Spice Jet and GoAir followed suit and banned the comedian.

“The captain (the lawful commander of the aircraft) is the one who decides what level of unruly behavior it is. He takes the necessary steps to bring the situation under control. The captain should be intimating his company and shall file a report to the internal committee to pursue the case of unruly passenger”, said Rakesh Dhannarapu, ex-cadet pilot and author of ‘101 Flying Secrets’.

Rakesh noted that the internal committee within the organization discusses the case and accordingly decides the action. “Once it decides the action (term of the ban) against the unruly passenger, it then passes the details of the case along with its decision to DGCA. When DGCA approves, it comes out in the form of `no-fly list’,” he said.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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