Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday sent a legal notice to IndiGo after the airline banned him from flying with it for a period of six months after he allegedly heckled journalist Arnab Goswami on a flight.
Kamra is seeking a compensation of Rs 25 lakh on account of the “mental pain and agony” suffered by him as well as the losses incurred due to cancellation of his scheduled shows, according to Live Law.
According to the legal notice, the comedian has asked for his six-month flying ban to be revoked “with immediate effect”, as well as an “unconditional apology” to be published in newspapers, TV channels and social media platforms.
On Tuesday, IndiGo had tweeted that the airline was suspending Kamra from flying for a period of six months “as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour”.
The arbitrary action on Kamra became a huge controversy last week as three more airlines issued flying bans on him after the IndiGo incident. This was after civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri issued an ‘advisory’ on Twitter, asking other airlines to follow IndiGo’s example.
DGCA chief Arun Kumar told HuffPost India that the ban on Kamra violated the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR Section 3, Series M, Part Vl on “Handling of Unruly Passengers) rules revised in 2017. While this was factually correct, and backed up by the pilot who operated the IndiGo plane at the time of the incident, the civil aviation regulator later walked back its view in an unsigned statement on Twitter.
The notice, which is addressed to the CEO of IndiGo, has been issued by advocate Prashant Sivarajan, a partner at Lawmen & White.
You can read the complete legal notice at Livelaw.in
According to a report published by The Indian Express on Saturday, at least two airlines, AirAsia India and Vistara, refused to act upon Puri’s tweet because it would have gone against the CAR rules. Sources told the Express that deviating from the rules would require “written instructions” from the government.
According to the regulations, even if Kamra was found guilty of a Level 1 violation, for unruly behaviour including verbal harassment, the maximum punishment he could be given is a ban of three months.