Following Indigo Airlines’ “illegal, high-handed and arbitrary action” taken against Kunal Kamra for heckling fellow passenger and “journalist” Arnab Goswami on a flight from Mumbai to Lucknow – which suspended the comedian from flying the airline for six months – Kamra has issued a legal notice via Supreme Court advocate Prashant Sivarajan of Lawman & White.
DeadAnt has just received a copy of the notice, which requires the airline:
(i) To revoke the suspension of [Kunal Kamra] from flying with Indigo Airlines for a period of 6 months with immediate effect; and
(ii) To tender unconditional apology towards [Kunal Kamra] in all leading newspapers as well as electronic media and on all of the social media platforms currently being operated by you;
(iii) To pay compensation towards [Kunal Kamra] in sum of Rs. 25,00,000/- on account of the mental pain and agony suffered by [Kunal Kamra] as well as losses incurred on account of cancellation of his scheduled shows and programmes in India as well as abroad on account of adoption of a totally illegal, arbitrary and high handed procedure which is against the extant DGCA CAR on the subject matter; and
(iv) To take action against the errant officials responsible for imposing the instant ban in abrogation of the DGCA CARs as notified under Rule 133A entailing imposition of penalty under S. No. 13 of Category III of Schedule VI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937; and
(v) To pay a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- towards the cost of the present legal notice. That you, the Noticee are hereby given a period of one week to comply with the mandate of law in terms of Paragraph 24 above, failing which My Client will exercise all due legal recourse available as per law.
The notice calls the airlines’ action as a “knee-jerk reaction” and that social media platforms like Twitter are not a medium of official communication. It states that the entire procedure as prescribed in law in order to declare as an unruly/disruptive passenger has been completely side-stepped and therefore, the present ban is wholly illegal, arbitrary and unjustified, calling out the airline for acting in a “hasty and biased manner” and asserting that what they have done is “nothing but an arm twisting tactic”.
Relevant would it be to note that at this point of time the Seatbelt Signs were switched off. Shortly thereafter, when the Seatbelt Signs came on the stewardess asked My Client to take his seat at which point of time he duly complied, the notice reads, pointing out that Kamra cooperated with cabin crew the entire time, and made it a point to apologise to each crew member and both pilots at the end of the flight for an inconvenience that may have been caused.
It is also pertinent to note that at no point of time during My Client’s exchanges with Mr. Goswami was there ever any intervention by the cabin crew to the effect that such behavior was unruly or disruptive, or that My Client was creating any nuisance whatsoever. Moreover, at no point of time during the said exchanges between My Client and Mr. Goswami was there any complaint by the fellow passengers that such behavior was unruly, untoward or disruptive, much less posing any threat to flight safety. Even Mr. Goswami himself, towards whom My Client’s exchanges were directed, did not make any complaint nor did he request the intervention of the cabin crew at any point of time.
Here’s a copy of the full 10-page notice: