Air India has issued a circular to curb the menace of unruly passengers , the effect of which is such of those who delay the flight by an hour would have to pay a penalty of INR 5 Lakhs and if the flight is held up for more than two hours, the fine would exceed INR 15 lakhs. However, the circular also says that those who delay a flight by two hours would fine INR 2 Lakh, the logic of which is unclear. This is because if the fine is INR 5 lakh for an hour’s delay, it should be greater than that for more than one hour.
The crew would have to report any such incident to the Airport Manager or the airline’s Chief Managing Director. It has also empowered the Airport Managers to file an FIR for unruly behaviour and also claim damages, if any, to the property.
There was couple of prominent incidents in the recent past. The first one involved the Shiv Sena Member of Parliament mp Ravindra Gaikwad who was reported to have repeatedly hit an Air India staffer with slipper. The second one related to the Trinamool Congress MP Dola Sen, who is alleged to have created a ruckus on board and delayed the flight around 30 minutes.
It is not clear as how the circular would apply to such prominent personalities. Air India has to await the nod of the Civil Aviation Ministry it if has to take uniform action against all unruly passengers, which obviously would include these personalities.
At least as of now, the circular cannot be applied to such unruly elements, which makes it clear that all are not equal, although, we take pride that ‘rule of law’ is what guides our country, India.