“Rowdy” behavior of passengers aboard flight may land them to 3 months to an indefinite ban
The Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr. Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with the government has created rules for ‘National to Fly’ per se the ‘No-Fly List’ which is incorporated for the safety of the passengers, the crew members, and the aircraft. Further, the rule also complies with the security threats. Wherein, an ‘unruly’ or raucous passenger could be banned ranging from 3 months to an indefinite period (relies on the seriousness of the offense). This step was taken after the infamous case of Shiv Sena MP, Ravindra Gaikwad who was denied to the board to fly business class, assaulted an Air India staff at Delhi Airport.
The rule has characterized the three levels of unruly behavior. Level 1 includes verbally unruly behavior which may land an unruly passenger to 3 months of imprisonment, Level 2 covers the ambit of physical assault which has the provision of 6 months of imprisonment and Level 3 has widened the area by including life-threatening behavior which amounts of a minimum of 2 years of imprisonment. All the Indian airlines engaged in the domestic and international transport of passengers go under the range of these levels. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked all the airlines to share the No-fly list of all the passengers who are engaged in unruly behavior aboard the flight and the DGCA will publish it on their website. However, if a person banned by a particular airline can still travel by other airlines. These means have been taken by the DGCA in the wake of revising the Section 3, Series M, Part VI of CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) that deal with the handling of unruly passengers.
All the global carriers who are liable to Tokyo Convention, 1963 are additionally subject to the reexamined CAR rules as the contracting country with the convention allows them to impose their criminal jurisdiction if the national of that country was involved in the breach of flight-related rules and harms its security. The prima facie focuses of the new rules are to ensure the onboard safety of passengers, cabin crew, and the airlines. The internal committee will comprise of the retired district, sessions judge as the chairman, and the members would be the representatives of different airlines, passenger’s association/consumer association/retired officer of the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum. The internal committee will have to decide the matter within 30 days and will specify the duration of the ban. The aircraft may amid the time of enquiry may force the restriction on the said traveler and that boycott could be twice for each consequent offense.
There is additionally the arrangement for the Appellate Committee, which will have retired judge of High Court as the chairman and representatives of passenger’s association/consumer association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum and airlines as members. The aggrieved person may appeal to the Appellate Committee constituted by the government within 60 days from the issue of order.
Author: Rahul Singh
College: Amity University, Lucknow
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