The Delhi Police has filed an official FIR against social media influencer Bobby Kataria after a clip of him lighting a cigarette during a SpiceJet flight surfaced online, officials stated on July 16.
Kataria was charged for reportedly violating safety and security measures on a complaint filed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport Police Station by Jasbir Singh on August 13, Manager Legal and Company Affairs of SpiceJet, they stated.
In his complaint to the police, Singh claimed that Balwant Kataria, alias Bobby Kataria, had shared photographs and videos on his social accounts wherein he could be seen with a lighter, a cigarette and smoking onboard SpiceJet flight SG 706 to Delhi from Dubai in January 2022, NDTV quoted a senior police officer.
"On the basis of the complaint, a case was registered on Monday under section 3(1)(C) of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act 1982 at IGI Airport," the senior officer stated.
Kataria, who is a bodybuilder himself, has over 6.3 lakh Instagram followers.
Video On The Internet Since January!
Last week, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia ordered an investigation after the video clip surfaced on social media platforms.
The airline's spokesperson had earlier stated, "The said passenger and his co-passengers shot the video on the 21st row when the cabin crew were occupied with completing the on-boarding procedure. The video was shot on January 20, 2022, while passengers were boarding flight SG 706 scheduled to operate from Dubai to Delhi."
Furthermore, he revealed that the crew nor the passengers were aware of the act and came to the notice of the airline for the first time on January 24, 2022, through social media posts.
He also added that this matter was investigated thoroughly in January 2022 as soon as the clip was brought to their notice, and a complaint was filed by the airline at the Udyog Vihar police station as they have their headquarters in Gurugram.
On the back of seeking a response from the Gurugram police authorities, they were advised on August 12 that the matter does not fall under their jurisdiction and accordingly, a complaint was filed with the Delhi Police.
Jyotiraditya Scindia also stated that the issue was also referred to an independent Committee constituted according to the guidelines of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on the handling of unruly passengers (not consisting of any SpiceJet employee), and a judgment of the committee is still pending.
Furthermore, passengers are not allowed to carry smoke or lighter inside aeroplanes.
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