Banned from flying, TDP's Diwakar Reddy moves HC

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP J C Diwakar Reddy, banned from flying by most domestic airlines due to his alleged unruly behaviour, on Tuesday moved the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad seeking to declare the flying ban against him illegal.

J C Diwakar ReddyHe named the union ministry of civil aviation, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), Air India, Jet Airways, Vistara Airlines, IndiGo, GoAir, Air Asia, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha Airways as respondents to his petition.

Domestic airlines imposed a flying ban on Reddy after he created a ruckus at the Vizag airport on 15 June after being barred from boarding an IndiGo flight for reporting late.

He had arrived 28 minutes prior to departure, while in compliance with DGCA norms, the airline counter had closed check-in 45 minutes prior to departure. Throwing a tantrum, Reddy allegedly pushed an airline staffer and knocked over a ticket printer that fell down and got damaged.

Other carriers Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet were quick to follow suit in banning the MP, who represents Anantapur constituency in the Lok Sabha.

 ''Any untoward conduct which compromises the safety and security of our passengers and staff is a serious concern to us. Safety and security of passengers, crew and the aircraft is the top priority and it cannot be compromised,'' IndiGo had commented on the incident. Reddy repeatedly denied assaulting the airline staff, and had refused to apologise.

In his petition, Reddy sought a direction declaring action of respondents in imposing flying ban on him as "illegal, arbitrary, violation of principle of natural justice, and to consequently direct the respondents to forthwith allow the petitioner to fly in all domestic flights".

He said the parliament session is expected to commence from 17 July and since he is an MP and a senior citizen, the ban imposed on him would result in lot of difficulties and hence it should be lifted.

A national no-fly list is being finalised by the aviation ministry and is expected to come into effect early next month to rein in unruly passengers. A draft of the proposal, under which disruptive flyers can face a flying ban from anywhere between three months to indefinitely, was earlier this year floated for the public comment.

Diwakar is the second MP to behave in an unruly manner this year; Shiv Sena's Ravindra Gaikwad was banned by carriers after he assaulted an Air India staffer in March this year, triggering a major ruckus and the creation of a no-fly list.