I’m Not a Victim in Anyway: Kunal Kamra on IndiGo Reducing Ban

Kamra has sought action against the airlines for taking action in alleged violation of Civil Aviation Requirements.

4 min read
Arnab Goswami (L) and Kunal Kamra (R).

After Indigo Airlines told the Delhi High Court that it has approved a flying ban on Kunal Kamra for three months, instead of the six months as imposed initially, he has responded to the same on Twitter.

In his statement, Kamra said that people should ask Arnab Goswami for comment, instead of seeking his statement. He wrote, “To all the journalists calling me I have no comment to offer on indigo banning me for 3 months instead o the 6 months now, can’t be objective on an issue where I’m the subject. I’m not a victim in anyway. I can get to anywhere I desire through multiple modes of transport, like most people in the country.”

“International publications that covered the incident called him a BJP ally and didn’t even refer to him as a journalist, or even a nationalist. His silence is evidence of his malice. In my opinion, instead of seeking my comment I wish more people ask Arnab for his comment.”
Kunal Kamra

During a Delhi High Court hearing on Thursday, 27 February, a committee set up by Indigo Airlines told the court that it has approved a flying ban on Kunal Kamra for three months, instead of the six months imposed by the airline initially.

The HC gave Kamra liberty to challenge the committee’s decision and the indefinite ban imposed by the other airlines: Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir.

The court directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should decide on his representation, dated 20 February, within eight weeks.

On Tuesday, the HC said aviation regulator DGCA ought not to have certified action of airlines other than Indigo, which imposed an indefinite flying ban without an inquiry on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for grilling journalist Arnab Goswami on a flight.

“Why did you (DGCA) give a certification on Twitter? Look at your tweet. You said the action by the other airlines was in compliance of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR). Not just IndiGo, you gave a certificate to the others also. You should withdraw your tweet,”
Justice Navin Chawla said to the regulator.

The court on Tuesday further said, "You have to now satisfy this court that their (airlines) action was in consonance with the CAR." The DGCA's lawyer said she will take instructions on the query raised by the court and urged that the matter be listed on February 27, to which the judge agreed.

In his petition, Kamra said he was banned by IndiGo for a six-month period before its internal committee even arrived at a decision while other airlines – Air India, Spicejet and GoAir – imposed an indefinite ban on him.

The comedian, represented by senior advocates Vivek Tankha, Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Mohit Mathur, has moved the high court seeking directions to DGCA to direct the airlines to revoke the ban.

He has also sought action against the airlines for taking the action in alleged violation of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR).

Justice Navin Chawla also sought a response from IndiGo on why it banned the comedian even before the airlines had received any formal complaint. He asked the DGCA to take instructions on what steps it intends to take regarding the action by the other airlines and listed the matter for hearing on 27 February.

Kamra has also sought directions to the DGCA to expeditiously decide his representation to take action against the airlines.

Following the episode with Goswami on the flight, Kamra claimed he sent the Republic TV anchor a text message inviting him to “have a civil discourse”.

Kamra posted a screenshot of the message on Twitter that read: “Mr Goswami, this is my number you can reach out to me whenever you think you want to have a civil debate on what is the idea of nation and who’s a nationalist... all my resentment towards you is my past.”

A screenshot posted by comedian Kunal Kamra  of a text message inviting Arnab Goswami  him to “have a civil discourse.”
A screenshot posted by comedian Kunal Kamra  of a text message inviting Arnab Goswami him to “have a civil discourse.”
(Photo: Kunal Kamra/ Twitter)

Kamra’s Conduct Not ‘Level 1’ Unruly: IndiGo Pilot Speaks Up

The IndiGo pilot who flew Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami has said that Kamra’s behaviour on the flight did not deserve the kind of response it got from the airline, reported PTI. The pilot said, “Kamra's behaviour, while unsavoury, was not qualifying of a level 1 unruly passenger.”

The pilot further added that incidents worse that Kamra’s have previously occured on the flight and not “deemed unruly”. He said, “Pilots can attest to incidents which were similar and/or worse in nature that were not deemed unruly.”

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi criticised the move in a tweet on 29 January, terming the bans imposed on Kamra as an 'act of cowardice'. He also asked Goswami to 'show some spine'.

(With inputs from PTI)

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