Vistara bans Kunal Kamra from flying till April 27 for heckling journalist on IndiGo flight

IndiGo specified a six-month period while other airlines — Air India, Spicejet and GoAir — imposed an indefinite ban on him.

Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday tweeted that he has been banned by airline Vistara, more than two months after he was grounded by four other airlines for heckling TV journalist Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight.

Kamra was banned from flying by four airlines on January 28, after he tweeted a 111-second video that showed him heckling Goswami on a Mumbai-Lucknow flight. Neither the journalist nor the pilot had lodged a formal complaint against Kamra. But once the video was circulated, there were calls for action against the comedian.

IndiGo specified a six-month period while other airlines — Air India, Spicejet and GoAir — imposed an indefinite ban on him.

Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on February 27 told the Delhi High Court that IndiGo airline’s flying ban imposed on Kamra in January had been reduced to three months.

Kamra had approached the aviation regulator against the flight ban, asserting that the airline hadn’t gone by the rulebook in his case. He pointed out that Captain Rohit Mateti, the pilot who was incharge of the flight, hadn’t complained against him as should have been done under aviation rules relating to unruly passengers.

Justice Navin Chawla had pulled up the regulator at the last hearing for its tweet backing the airline’s decision to impose the flight ban and refusing to act on Kunal Kamra’s representation to him. The judge told the regulator that once Kamra had lodged a complaint before the DGCA, claiming violation of Civil Aviation Rules by the airlines, the regulator could not say it would not look into it.

After the court was informed about the decision to reduce the duration of the flight ban, the judge disposed of Kunal Kamra’s petition but gave him the right to come back with a fresh plea if the regulator did not take a call on his representation within the next two months.

In a video clip posted by Kamra in January, he was seen asking the journalist if he is a “coward or a journalist”. While Goswami can be seen sitting in the plane and watching something on his laptop with his earphones plugged in, Kamara continued to troll him.

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