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Kunal Kamra's Flying Ban: Delhi HC Directs DGCA to Deal With His Complaint Within 8 Weeks

Karan Tripathi
27 Feb 2020 6:09 AM GMT
Kunal Kamras Flying Ban: Delhi HC Directs DGCA to Deal With His Complaint Within 8 Weeks
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Delhi High Court has disposed off comedian and activist Kunal Kamra's plea challenging his travel ban.

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla Justice Navin Chawla Justice Navin Chawla has directed Directorate General of Civil Aviation to consider the said petition as a representation before it, and deal with the same within a period of 8 weeks.

Speaking to LiveLaw, Kunal's Lawyers said;

"The internal committee constituted by Indigo Airlines has reduced the ban imposed on Mr Kamra from 6 months to three months with effect from 28.01.2020.

Since the order was passed only at 9:30 am this morning it was not before the court when the petition was filed. Therefore the court observed that a substantial petition may be filed against the same.

However, the writ was disposed off with a direction to DGCA to consider the representation sent via-à-vis violation of the mandatory requirements of the CAR by all the airlines within a period of eight weeks"

Appearing for Kamra, Senior Advocates  Mohit Mathur, Gopal Shankarnarayan submitted before the court that multiple airlines had put flying ban on the Petitioner even prior to filing of the complaint. He said:

'Kunal Kamra got punished even before enquiry could be initiated. No complaint was even filed by the pilot in command.'

They read out tweets posted by airlines such as Air India, Spice Jet and Go Air, to point out how multiple airlines put an indefinite flying ban on Kamra without any complaint or enquiry.

'This is against the Aircraft Rules which lays down a complete procedure to deal with unruly behaviour in the form of Civil Aviation Regulations', he argued.

Further, it was also submitted that under Rules 113A and 161 of Aircraft Rules, DGCA is empowered to impose a penalty on airlines that violate Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR). He argued:

'Instead of punishing these airlines, DGCA has endorsed their behaviour.'

These arguments were countered by ASG Maninder Acharya who was appearing for the DGCA.

In the last hearing, she had argued that the present petition is not maintainable as DGCA is not empowered to take any action which is beyond the procedure defined in CAR.

She had also informed the court that it is the Indigo airlines which has banned the Petitioner, and not the Union of India.

Further, she had submitted that the DGCA is not empowered to take any coercive action when the matter is already pending before the Internal Committee of the concerned airlines.  

Senior Advocates Mohit Mathur, Gopal Shankarnarayan, Advocates Ujjawal Anand Sharma, Prashant Sivarajan, Gaitri vermaa appeared for Kunal.

The Petition was filed through the Law Firm Lawmen & White.

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